Dear Missie 

First of all, Asante sana for this opportunity. I can say its like you have been reading my mind and see what I am going through now at work. My name is Stephania (not her real name) and I have been working for a xxx company for three years now. I joined the company through their graduate program and I was so excited when I got selected to continue as an executive.

I feel like my initiation into the corporate life started last year. And it has not been pretty. Sijui nianze wapi. 

It all started last year before Christmas, when we met as a team to finalize some reports. During the meeting our boss mentioned how he found our team not very motivating because the ladies are not well "endowed" as African women. His actual words were “watoto wa humu ndani hata hawaleti motisha…hamna wezere za kiafrika kabisaaaa”  Did I mention that I was the only girl in the team?

Maybe let me take you back to when I started working here. From the graduate program, about 4 of us were selected to continue in the company as employees. 3 guys and I, the only girl. I was assigned to the product development team which is lead by a very interesting boss and a team of 3 other men. Our boss is a short guy with a round face, upara kwa mbali as his hairline is quite undefined, plump with a protruding belly and he has a pride and temper that goes with the stereotype of short men. Sometime i think he tries too hard to be seen as "the boss" and also as "a man". 

To be fair, he is very good at his job and as a new recruit I have learnt a lot through him. It is his pride and temper that has made me write this today kwasababu kwakweli i need your help. 

Sasa back to Christams last year. We were in an official team meeting to close the year and here is our boss making fun of my butts. Yes I am slim and I have that typical Meru body lakini this is not its place for such a discussion.  Mind you, this was not the first time he made reference to my body in a group setting. In every meeting, this boss would make jokes and most of them are always sexual jokes. The other men will laugh so hard and even add their jokes in there too. Of course since I was very new, I used to laugh along because I didn’t want to appear to be judging and a party pooper. But this day, I was just fed up...and so...I lashed out kisawasawa!

He wasn’t expecting it and for a minute the whole room went quite. Then he looked around the room, looked at me as if to assess which part of my body he should start insulting first. He rapped for like 5 minutes, insisting that I was out of line and he can end my career right there. Imagine! Mimi ndio niko out of line for telling him the truth! I was so angry my body was shaking so I decided to leave the meeting. 

Since that day, he has been ignoring me and all my contributions in the team meetings. I remember there was this trip to market the company outside the country and he took the whole team except me. One of the guys in the team came to me in private and he asked me to go and apologize to our boss. He insists that since I am just starting my career, my boss can actually black list me to his friends who are in other companies. This scares me even more now. 

I don't see why I should apologize to him because he is the one in the wrong. I also wanted to go and report it to the HR but my sister thinks I will make it worse. I don't know what to do and frankly I am even scared to start looking for other job opportunities. Please Missie and the readers, help me. How do I handle this? Thank you, Anonymous

.........................................................................................xxx........................................................................

I leave this for you all M.P's, how should she go about this? Should she report him? Can a boss really black list you to other companies? Help Stephanie by leaving a COMMENT below

xoxo
Missie Popular


 Call me "King'ang'anizi, Kupe" or any other name, but I still believe in the power of blogs and the stories that we can share in order to learn through each other's experiences. Soooo, here I am, trying again to revive the M.P blog as a platform for constructive conversations.


And to make it more fun, I would love to take a different turn on the type of content we post and share in here. Let's touch on those CORPORATE LIFE Untold Stories that we live and go through, every day.

What do I mean?


Well...

I started my corporate life journey in 2010 at a rather young age. I was the youngest officer at the work place which had over 300 employees, it was quite interesting. Being a young, sassy, fashionable and quite a head strong girl, I saw my share of the good, the bad and the ugly realities of the Tanzanian corporate world. I want to share these with you, in here.

With over 10 years experience in this corporate life, I have also witnessed and heard quite amazing and crazy stories too. The crazy ones are majorly coming from my young sisters and brothers who have just started their jobs/work experiences and I must say, they really need some guidance to navigate this maze.

This is by far the reason that pushed me to re-engage you all through this blog. I believe through sharing our stories, we will be able to help at least one person out there.

With that said, I will be receiving your stories through missiepopular@gmail.com from today....and I will be posting them anonymously. Please help us to make your story very clear in order for all of us to understand and learn from it.

Those young corporates who have specific questions are welcome as well. Please send in your question through missiepopular@gmail.com and I will post it here for everyone to help you.

I am super excited to engage with you all and I think we will have a superb platform, here forth.


xoxo

Missie Popular

 

If there is something in my career life that I would have done differently, is claiming my spot very early on and not let everyone walk all over me. There is a lot to unpack from that sentence, so let me try and hopefully it will help someone in their career development, today.

I started my official employment at the age 25, being the youngest at an organization of 600+ people. My first position led me to the Public Relations office where I served for almost a year, and thereafter, I joined my favorite department, Sales and Marketing. I love marketing! I was on fire! Which means I burnt bridges, created pathways where there was none and sometimes, I burnt myself too...but that is a story for another day.

Being the youngest means you are hardly taken serious, especially when you are in an industry that is quite male-dominated. So I had to learn to tame myself and let others talk on my behalf, or sometimes do what I am told even when I knew things could have been done the other way. This worked for the first 2 years, until the frustration that was building inside me, couldn't take it any more. I started to act out and just be stubborn for no reason. As you can as well guess, I received several discipline letters and was called to the HR for insubordination issues. I was ready to quit.

Then one day, my dad asked me to share exactly what it is that frustrated me. Ooooh I had a lot to say! Him being the patient and cool collected man, he listened until i was done. He waited for me to cool down (I was literally sobbing). Then he calmly asked me, "Let alone the activities that you do, what do you see as your role in that organization?"...I was dumbfounded. I had never before, thought beyond my position and the activities I performed for the organization. It took me few minutes to actually come up with an answer, I said " My role is to create a platform that connects the organization and its potential customers/stakeholders."

He smiled and said, "That's correct. Now, are you 100% in control of that role?" I shook my head "No"...because that was indeed the root cause of my frustration. I felt that I was not in control of the role, but I still received all the blames when things went wrong. My dad gave me a long talk about understanding the organization structure and claiming my spot without apologizing for it. He talked about how leadership is about pushing things forward and breaking the barriers that I come across, daily. At the end of our almost 3 hours talk, he bluntly told me, "You are a young lady with so much fire in you. You can do amazing things if you learn to claim your spot, work hard and earn everyone's respect. I believe in you kiddo, don't shrink yourself for anybody". With tears in my eyes, I promised to make him proud.

When I got to work after that weekend, I brought the fire with me. It took less than six months for my then boss to call me, and asked if I wanted to take on more responsibilities. I said YES! I went on to out perform all tasks related to Events Planning and coordination, which was a big part of the Marketing activities.  And after serving for 6 years, my boss gave me his blessings when I asked if I could leave and go to a job that was specifically Events Coordination, at a different organization. 

5 years now and I am loving every single challenge that comes with Event coordination. From organizing events in Rwanda, South Africa, Ghana and almost every major city in Tanzania...Coordinating events that bring together former and current presidents, heads of various regional organizations and African countries, private sector etc... It has been such a ride, and quite fruitful.  I am forever grateful for my father's advise that day.

Let me come back to you. What is that career thing that is currently troubling you? Let's share and discuss in the comments below


xoxo
Missie Popular

I have never been good at accessorizing, well...that was until I met my current stylist, Ms Irada. By working with her, I learnt the best ways to accessorize any outfit, following the rule of THREE. Here is what I mean;

1. Your accessories should always be in layers, and it looks best when the layers are three. The area above your shoulders, the mid section and the feet

Above the shoulders may involve a pair of statement earrings as seen on the above picture, or a statement hair style, or a head scarf/hat/fascinator that calls for attention etc. 

The mid section involves a waist belt, a bag/clutch or waist beads etc. Of course, all this is apart from the pants, skirt or anything that you wear, but rather what you add into it.

And the last part is the feet area. This mostly involves the kind of shoes you wear, in terms of style, color and ornaments that come with the shoes. It can also involve stockings, socks, anklets etc



2. Your accessories should COMPLIMENT your outfit and not stand on their own. Here, I learnt the second rule of color blending. Look at this picture for example, you will notice that there are three main colors used in the entire look, and the colors of the accessories is among them (Green, Yellow, Ivory). This rule helps your outfit to look good and coordinated, in the eye of an observer :)

 3. Mix the various sizes of your accessories. Depending on where you want to direct people's attention to, your choice of accessory sizes should factor that in. If you want attention on your face, then choose big earrings or a fun hairstyle/head scarf/hat etc. The same with your shoes, if you are wearing an outfit that you think might look boring/dull, then you may shift people's attention to your feet by choosing statement shoes.


I hope you have gathered one or two helpful tips, as I keep sharing whatever new that I learn everyday. As usual, let's continue the conversation on my social accounts Here


xoxo
Missie Popular

It goes without saying that I LOVE my city, Dar es Salaam. Besides its beautiful architecture, the beach, the super crazy but amazing people, it is also home to great fashion and style in East Africa. It is where fashion trends start and spread to other parts of the East African region, especially through the incorporation of fashion in music and films. This is the Bongoland, and I love it to the core!


It is its majestic architecture and resilient people that inspired me to do this photoshoot. Interpreting how beautiful my city is, the strength and pride its people has and of course, the fashion and style that can be found here. The green color goes with our attempt to embrace sustainability in most of what we do, while the exaggerated moves matches our very own pride and egos as Dar es Salaam dwellers. If you have ever been to this city, you will understand that last part better. No matter who you meet and what their social status is, the pride and ego is of the same size!


 But we laugh at every situation we go through. Be it the April rain and floods, the usual crazy traffic jam or getting into the bus through the window, it is never that serious :) You will always hear that same phrase, this is Bongo! 


I accessorized the look with ivory colored bangles, earrings and shoes, as a way of showing my sincere optimism for the economic development of my city, which can be contributed by the formalization and development of the fashion industry. I have hope that this East African fashion hub can be able to manufacture and distribute fashion items to the whole of Eastern and Central Africa. We can go beyond fashion designing and events, If only we try.


As I celebrate this, I also congratulate the likes of Khadija Mwanamboka, Kemi Kalikawe and Ally Rehmtullah, who own fashion institutes that groom more designers for the East African market. I urge more investors to take on various opportunities in this sector, and together we can create a bigger impact


xoxo
Missie Popular
Finally, I got to start writing about what I do everyday. EVENTS.
I have received so many requests asking if I could share my experience and various tips in planning and managing events. From the roles of an Event Manager to what should be in the Event Checklist and how to write event proposals/concept notes. Different people want to know different things and it has been really a struggle to answer one by one, through the DMs. So here we are. I will start sharing the different aspects of events, through my social media channels. Highlights on Instagram, Content in writing here on the blog and Swahili videos on YouTube.  

Today we start with one of the most important item in event management. The Checklist.

An event checklist is a document that contains 5 elements that can make or break your event. These elements are as briefly explained below;
Content is what carries an event. What is the event about? What message is being passed on? Through which modality? Who and how many are the speakers? For how long? All these questions and more, are what lead you in venue selection, speakers and participants list development, and coordination of all technical and knowledge experts/resource persons that will be required. 
Logistics for the event follows what is required to achieve the above content/event deliverable. This involves booking venues, transport, food vendors, security, and all other logistical details as per the event. Majority of Event Planners get it wrong by putting concentration in this element without connecting it with the CONTENT element. Try to make this shift and you will see the best results in your coordination.
Your Financial plans like budget, sponsorships etc can now be made, following the needs above. This will assist to be as realistic as possible, since you already know the content and logistics required for your event. Remember to itemize each detail in your finance plans, including your own rate as the event manager.
This element includes the design and production of branding/decor materials, media, photography, videography etc & it varies according to a specific event. There are events that do not require PR or media presence, while others can be done through issuing a press release or updating social media channels. Regardless of your PR plans, do not forget to include them in your checklist in order to make a follow-up before, during or after the event. 
If there is something we can agree on is that, during an event, ANYTHING CAN GO WRONG. And sometimes, many things that happen during an actual event requires you to navigate and make changes in your checklist. This is were a miscellaneous element for an event, comes in. In this list we put alternative/risk management items just in case things do not go as planned. It can be an ambulance, a standby generator, the name of an alternative guest of honor/pastor/sheikh, etc. All major things that might kill the event completely, need to have their risk management listed here.

Well,I hope that helps and you will have a better experience when doing your next event.

I will post the Swahili video over the weekend, as well as the plan for a zoom meeting for those who will need personalized/customized help on their event checklist.

xoxo
Missie Popular




Spending a full day in the wild is one of the best experience ever! Especially if that wilderness is one of Tanzania's National Parks!

My family and I decided to celebrate new years and my birthday at Mikumi National Park,located in Morogoro,Tanzania. Our safari vehicle picked us from our doorstep at 5a.m and we left Dar es Salaam. It was an adventurous drive all the way, as the kids point at this and that and play in the car. Mind you, we two 4year olds and one boy who is less that 2 years. Soooo,you can imagine the excitement!
Our driver,Mr. Peter from Lavano Tours is also an amazing tour guide. He made sure we had a smooth ride as well as taking us around the National Park, all the time giving us details on various animals and their behaviors. His mission was to make sure we saw all the animals that the kids mentioned as their list, and we did! From the mighty lion (Mr Peter will disagree on the mighty part hahaha),the ever elegant giraffe, birds, crocodiles, hippos, antelopes, zebras, buffalos, to the king of the wilderness, the elephant!
We rested under this 300 years old baobab tree, and had our snacks before heading out again for some more fun!
Taking pictures of this scenery was just magical! I felt like the cameras were failing to actually capture the beauty!








We had so much fun!
Our accommodation was Camp Bastian, a rather tourist spot that is well blended into nature. I loooove the greenery of the place and their staff! Oooh such friendly and helpful people! 
I wish I captured more pictures of the camp but....you know when traveling with kids, plans change as time goes. Hopefully I will get another chance to visit the place and share it with you :)

I hope this motivates you to plan for a trip to one of Tanzania's beautiful parks. I assure you, no words and no pictures can capture the ACTUAL beauty of this place! You have to experience, to understand. 

Get on my Instagram here @MissiePopular to see my everyday travel and lifestyle stories.

Goodluck on your future travels :)

xoxo
Missie Popular
 

It's my birthday and I am super excited for this new year! This is the year that I will be pushed by one purpose only, TAKING THE LEAP OF FAITH!. It's the year that I take on new and scary steps, going that extra mile and challenge myself more. Oooooh I can't wait!
Collaborations, Partnerships and Endorsements are what I am looking for, this year. This will be in the areas of Lifestyle and Fashion, specifically on Travel, Brands PR and Corporate fashion. I am looking forward to great conversations with you here on the blog, on my Instagram page @MissiePopular and meeting you all in various events.

 I am super ready, are you? If you have a product/service that aligns with my corporate brand, link me up and let's collaborate/partner and make 2021 a great year!


Happy 2021!

xoxo
Missie Popular

It's the season to be jolly, stylish and enjoying those family moments to cherish for the rest of the year! What better way to welcome 2021 than by rocking one of the Color of the Year, Yellow :). Yes, this year Pantone gave us two colors, Grey and Yellow. 


Enough about the colors, how grateful are we to see 2020 gone?! The year was full of turbulences, amazing lessons and for some, such devastation. Families were torn apart, economies are still being tested, and life is never the same. In the end, I cherish every family moments I get to spend with my loved ones, and I must say, I don't take it for granted!

Towards 2021, I THANK YOU all for the support in any and every way! You guys (700 of you each day!) have been the strength I needed to come back and write on this blog. I will forever be thankful to you all.


I wish 2021 will be better for everyone, especially in returning back those job opportunities and raising the economy to a better place. We need people back to work, traveling and most importantly, healthy. I wish this for you and your loved ones


 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year 2021


xoxo
Missie Popular

Summer is here and I am loving every bit of it! Well, except for the extreme heat part hahaha, but the vibe is just right! 

So, I said to myself, why not try to find some local designer piece that exudes the summer vibe while giving you that modest cover? And guess what, this Bijoux Trendy two piece is that and more!

First of all, it is a hand dyed batik material, made in Africa and by an African designer. Our very own Tanzanian girl, Amina of the Bijoux Trendy label. And something I never expected, is how professional the finishing is! If you have ever purchased from various Tanzanian designers before, you know what I am talking about ;)
The material is super light and hugs to your body every time there is wind, brushing the skin so delicately. As I celebrate and showcase my city of Dar es Salaam, I recommend you check out this brand too.

Moreover, my birthday month is loading.....and I promised to use the whole of January to showcase various designer works through my Instagram page @MissiePopular and here on the blog. Which designer would you recommend I showcase their work? Leave me a comment below :)

Photography: Bless Dollar
Makeup: Neema of Atsoko
Stylist: Irada
Wardrobe: Bijoux Trendy
Accessories: Kuskus Jewels
Model: MissiePopular :)


xoxo
Missie Popular