A few weeks ago I got contacted for an interview by a new lifestyle blog called Woven Musings. They wanted to know a bit more about:
Woven Musings: Heather, you certainly break all the stereotypes – from being a graduate in Economics from Cambridge to an investment banker who is now an author and blogger dedicated to afro-textured hair and business solutions; how did that happen?
Heather Katsonga-Woodward: Lots of hard work! It is very true that the harder you work, the luckier you get. When I was 11 years old I went to what was the best boarding school in Malawi, Kamuzu Academy.
As I was a few weeks late everyone had already bonded and I struggled to make friends so I made fast friends with my books. I did eventually make good friends but by then I had already started to enjoy studying and I worked my way up from a B/low A student to an A* student. It took almost 3 years before I consistently only got As. It showed that hard work does pay and the people at the top don’t have to stay there.
For Cambridge I applied for the Barclay-Smith scholarship. It’s awarded to one Malawian every two to three years depending on academic results. The scholarship administrators required me to get at least 3 As at A-level to be admitted so that is what I did.
As for banking, in 2004 when I was applying for internships the Careers Office in Cambridge pretty much told me I had a low chance of getting a job in banking because I was an immigrant and they would rather employ someone who doesn’t require a visa. I never went back there for advice! I learnt as much as I could from my friends who already knew what banking was all about and I got myself a banking career coach. The result was an internship and later an offer at Goldman Sachs, the investment bank EVERYONE wanted to get into. I felt so extremely blessed. I learnt that ignoring discouragers – or perhaps “realists” as they might see themselves – is the best life policy.
Neno Natural was honoured to be invited to Power 101 in Malawi (on 14-Nov-2013) to chat about entrepreneurship and natural hair.
DJ Joey & Ms Faith were so much fun to hang out with and I hope to be invited back in future :).
Capital Radio invited me to their station for a one-hour interview during their pre-lunch time "Chat Room" - it was my first ever live radio station appearance so I was very giddy.
The interviewer was Annie Chisala. She was my junior in high school so I wasn't nervous about the interview itself; I was very proud to see her doing well for herself.
My first radio interview was by phone with SA FM back in July.
One thing leads to another; after being invited to Capital Radio then 101 FM I got invited to be featured on four television programs in Malawi:
Unfortunately, the only one we have a partial recording of is the one show that wasn't in English, Good Morning Malawi. To be honest, I wasn't expecting it to be in Chichewa either! I was raised bilingual so I spoke both Chichewa and English from the very start, however, I was always schooled in English.
Online magazine Conscious Vibes liked my piece on how to identify the proteins found in hair products so they included it in their October issue. Check the magazine out, it's FREE!
Neno Natural had its first ever national radio interview on 15 July 2013 with SAfm one of the oldest and biggest radio stations in the Republic of South Africa. In fact, they are international as you can also listen to them online.
It was a fun interview and no worries if you missed it because we recorded it on video:
I now blog about wealth creation - so if you have any money questions meet me there, you can do all sorts of cool things like leave me a voicemail.
By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx