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Opute-Somosu fighting to empower women

Mon, 1 June 2015 14:46
by Faith Haushona-Kavamba


The true test of a good leader is how they treat those around, those that have less than they do.
A good leader is one who spares no expense towards empowerment of those less fortunate, while a bad leader who behave in a fashion to the contrary. In Africa, this is evident through tyrannical leaders who hoard their country’s wealth as their people starve.
Nigerian born businesswoman Susan Opute-Somosu has gone out of her way to prove that she subscribes to the former with her quest to empower Namibian women.
The mathematics and statistics graduate who is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree moved to Namibia in 2004 to be with her husband who was hired as a lecturer at the time.
If she was not a firm believer in love at first site, that all changed when she arrived in the country. “From the first moment I stepped foot in this country I fell in love with it and I have never regretted my decision to come here. Namibia is paradise compared to the struggles and instability that other African countries face,” Opute-Somosu told The Villager newspaper this week.
After years of hardships that saw her become a food vendor and later a janitor for a couple of years in London at one time, she opened her music label to become the first African woman to do so.
The music label opened its doors in 2012 in Namibia before expanding to Nigeria and South Africa later on.
“The idea was inspired by my passion for music, it is usually the same passion shared by those who enter the music industry and eventually enjoy great success, unlike those who merely do it for the fame,” she explained, adding that she was merely working to realise her dream and was not aware that she is the first female record label owner until Facts Africa contacted her.
A little over a month ago, Opute-Somosu organised a Women in Entertainment breakfast meet as part of her social responsibility to empower other young women.
The meet was attended by the likes of Khomas Region Governor Laura McLeod and media personality Marbeline Mwashekela, who also threw in their two cents in a bid to inspire the attendees.
At the breakfast, Opute-Somosu pledged N$300 000 to any woman who had an exceptional business idea.
The breakfast was then followed by a courtesy visit to the First Lady, Monica Geingos, were all the women highlighted the difficulties in their different lines of work, and lobbied that she lends a helping hand to addressing some of those issues.
While it may seem like she was merely focusing on her industry, the plight of women all over, regardless of career choice (or lack thereof) is one that is very dear to her.
“Women in entertainment are important to me, just as women in this world are important to me. The world has been harsh towards women.
“Women often have to struggle 10 times more than their male counterparts. Regardless of that fact, I am one of those women who refuse to blame society and much rather become an advocate for the empowerment of women, thereby levelling the playing field,” she said.
Opute-Somosu has just begun her quest to empower the women around her. Plans to host a women empowerment conference are already underway, as well as a talk show which will see the entrepreneur interview some of the most notable women in Africa like Isabel dos Santos and Folorunsho Alakija.
“I would like to encourage every Namibian to work harder than they currently do,strive to do better in whatever situations they find themselves, instil in themselves the mentality of discipline and dedication to their work and lastly stop waiting on the government for assistance but create their own path towards success,” she concluded.
–faith@the villager.com.na