Quote Of The Day

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.

John Lennon
30

Jokate Mwegelo

Founder, Kidoti Company

Country: Tanzania

Five years ago, Mwegelo used her personal savings and a soft loan from Africa’s youngest billionaire and FORBES AFRICA cover, Mohammed Dewji to found Kidoti Company, a lifestyle brand. It designs and manufactures synthetic hair extensions, sandals and bags.

“So far we have managed to roll out around 60,000 hair pieces in the market with prospects of doing tenfold better once we establish our own factory in the region,” says Mwegelo, who just scrapes into this list by being born a few days before our April 30 cut-off date.

The political science and philosophy graduate and media personality says she wanted to use her fame for good.

“I spent endless days and nights at a business incubation program incubating start-ups around ICT. There my interest in having a brand and products in the market heightened. I felt like we needed a female billionaire, so far many industries in the country and across the regions are so male dominated, like most of the lifestyle products in the market, yet females are the main users.”

She approached Dewji for finance. He gave them items from his company to sell, which they used to buy their first van.

Mwegelo understands the importance of giving back.

She also launched ‘Be Kidotified’ a campaign which empowers young girls by building sports facilities in public schools, and promoting education and entrepreneurship. She also launched ‘Msusi Wao’, translated ‘their hairstylist’, which connects hairdressers, financiers and customers.

All thanks to a FORBES AFRICA cover who may have ushered in one for the future.