How I bought 6 properties by age 26 part 2

How I owned 6 properties by 26 (Part 2)

People are selfish, that’s a fact, and we inherently want the best for ourselves & “our people”. But this selfishness does not exude itself as camaraderie in the Black Culture, which I think it should. All over the world stigma and perception follows us – misconceived perception. And as a people it will only be to our benefit to master collaboration, acceptance and appreciation of each other. It is the division lines and the black on black jealousy & criticism that perpetuates white on black sneer.

You can read Part one of this blog here. Having now become an owner of three properties & learning the ropes of managing tenants, reducing costs and tax implications I shared my journey in conversation with my friend, Achoro. He owned no properties and we often debated in discussions on building wealth and its challenges, he often said “People want to win alone, shared wealth is not a culture”. As an entrepreneur it is a challenge securing funding for investments like property – at least as an individual.

4. Mastering Collaboration

When you make a decision to trust someone, and that trust is mutual – Building becomes easier. Achoro was on the lookout for a small property investment; a studio apartment to start off with when this opportunity landed on our laps. We found a trio of studio apartments on the market by the same owner. She lived abroad and was divesting her investments in SA, it was perfect – one owner means a bigger opportunity to negotiate. This was not a purchase Achoro could take on alone, & after some serious thought, number crunching on ROI & persuasion skills I was on board as a co investor. Taking the deal on together meant shared risk, and shared wealth.

5. Negotiate

“In property, you make money when you BUY, not when you sell!” it is imperative to understand that buying property at market value is not a great deal. You always want to purchase in a buyers’ market, or purchase under market value. That way when you re-sell at market value you already have your profits and need not overprice. We did our research, found out what the owners had paid for the property, current market value as well as potential growth for the area and put in a ballzy offer to purchase. Of course our offer was declined… yes declined. The challenge was we could not put one offer for all three properties, they had to be treated individually. So with 2/3 accepted offers, we went back to negotiation table.

This is where as a buyer you need to remove excitement and look at the properties with a critical eye. Paying another visit to the studio helped us to do that. It was clear the flooring was not in tip top shape and would require replacing at some point. This negative factor we used as leverage to renegotiate and find a happy price for everyone. Which we did – Deal landed!!!

apartment layout

6. Strategise & Plan

The paper work got underway and I had 3 additional tenants to “look after”. Six properties purchased in 24 months has been a big learning curve, a lot of admin and frightening. Yes these are assets, but at the moment they are huge liabilities. The bank owns the property until you pay it off – so do so as quick as you can. And as I take time to let it all sink in, let the dust settle it is the right time to strategize. Property is an investment yes, but it is also a business. One that needs to be taken as seriously as its risks, and planned for. There are a number of property investing models you can take. I have made use of the “Buy to let” model which speaks to long term growth, this is not an instant gratification model. I’m in it for the long haul!

“I am not an early bird, or a night owl. I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon!” J African Child | Blogger| Financial Crusader

Thanks Nwamara for concluding how you managed to acquire 6 properties in 24months. Key learnings- be clear on why you want to get into property and collaborate . Nwamara got into property because she did not see the point of paying someone else’s mortgage. I share her sentiments.  With property being a foreign idea to most of us, it is important for us to acquire the necessary knowledge. If you have recently brought property and would like to share how you managed to do so, email us on info@blvbookclub.com with your story. Let us keep inspiring each other!

 

How I bought 6 properties by age 26

How I owned 6 properties by 26 (Part 1)

Hi I am Nwamara Obiike and I am a 27 year old Black woman; and this is my story about how I accumulated six properties by age 26.

I come across many people with whom I have interesting conversations regarding money, family & investments. Each new person (all of similar age) are extremely surprised that I currently have investments in six different properties. This not only indicates that they assume it impossible but also indicates the financial empowerment still needed in our black communities. In order to bridge the financial gap, to close in on decades of marginalization where our counterparts built wealth, we need to find ways to accelerate this wealth building, lay stable foundations and let go of the mental shackles.

  1. Making the decision to stop paying someone else’s mortgage.  

At age 24 I had been a tenant for 2 years. The rent was cheap- at first- and the apartment was beautiful. It was this wooden floored, open plan style apartment with high ceilings in the heart of a cultural node in Durban, South Africa. I had just moved into the city when I found it so you can imaginee I needed that soft landing. But after two years of blissful stay and another rent increase approaching I could not bear the thought of parting with that amount of money with no asset attached to it. So I made the decision to stop paying someone else’s bond & started the search for property 1. I found a quaint apartment also in the heart of Durban closer to the ocean at a decent price. It needed a kitchen renovation (but that’s a story for another day) but besides that it was in great condition. Before putting an offer forward I researched for the previous purchased price of the flat (yes, this stuff is available online) and it can be a good indication of what offer to put forward in the current market conditions. I low balled the seller, because sellers will always counter. Because I was a first time buyer, I used my qualification and good credit score to get 100% financing from my bank at a favorable interest rate. Financially the end monthly costs were about R1000 ZAR more than my rental which I was happy with, it was my asset.

2. Taking a Risk  

Needless to say I selected bank 2 and raised the 10% through savings and family (family is interest free 🙂 ). This was my first investment property to be tenanted.

“In property, you make money when you buy, not when you sell”. I took a risk and put my name up and forward to the bank. This is probably one of the few times that you truly benefit from being a full time employee- Banks LOVE to give credit to clients working for corporates. I financed this property also through a bond with two bank offers to choose from, Bank 1 at 100% with a very unpleasant interest rate and the other, Bank 2 at 90% with a favorable interest rate. Banks will test your commitment and stability by giving you 90% as you will need to raise the remaining 10% as a down payment. After doing the math, the interest I would pay in the 100% loan over the period of time would dramatically exceed the 10% down payment required by bank 2.

About 8 months after buying my first property I received a call regarding a new developing block in an up and coming area in Johannesburg. My first thought- “I just bought a property, there is no way I will get financing”. This was my first introduction to “new builds” and their benefits. The price you get is all inclusive with new properties, no transfer cost bond costs. It felt like a bargain because the value instantly increases once the property is completed. The earlier you purchase a developing property the more you gain once it’s completed.

3. Learning to collaborate

The potential growth and value of the second property was extremely enticing that 4 months later I took a bold risk and aimed for a second apartment in that development. Truthfully, I had no more money and would have needed to fund this property through 100% loans which the bank refused to give. I was trying to do it all on my own and was quickly reminded of Kiyosaki’s words. He spoke about owning a small piece of a big pie rather than owning 100% of a very small pie. So I made the choice to collaborate and co invest in this property. My co investor & I could not afford the property individually, but together it was lucrative. I went 50/50 and the bank was more than willing to give me 100% financing on the 50% amount.

I am no expert, this is only a part of my journey and there is a long road ahead. I find comfort in educating myself and there is no better way than reading a book that will help kickstart your voyage to financial literacy.

“I am not an early bird, or a night owl. I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon!” J African Child | Blogger| Financial Crusader

Thank you Nwamara for sharing how you have managed to reach a feat that many aspire to. It is important that we empower each other not only by sharing the ‘what’ but most importantly the ‘how’. Execution and bringing our goals to life is everything!-Lerato

Thrive

*Thrive*You are a badass*Miracle Morning*

It has been a while since we shared our thoughts and discussions with you our readers. This has largely been due to a hiatus we decided to take in order to determine the direction the book club needed to take to grow. During this break, I continued with my #30bookchallenge and I am now on my 16th book. This means I would have to read 1 book roughly every week to make it to the 31st of December. It will be done!

I have been on a personal development journey and have learnt to appreciate self-help books. (Click link to read a previous article on self-help books). If you are like me and enjoy watching Ted Talks and motivational videos, you probably believe that every self-help book probably says the same thing just in different ways. There is nothing wrong with that. What is important is that in all the books that you read, something clicks and sticks.

Thrive-Arianna Huffington

Thrive 2

Written by Arianna Huffington, co- founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, Arianna covers how she has managed to thrive in business while managing a fair work-life balance. She highlights the importance of well-being in our success. I see it often in the workplace where people work long hours and expect to thrive in all that they do. You know those people who get to the office before you and are still on their laptops with no sign of surrender when you leave. I used to be one of those people. My work was my life! Unfortunately/Fortunately my body heeded to the call of rest. I started having migraines often. I had the type of migraines that would render me enfeeble. It was from then that I started to work the necessary work hours, obviously with exceptions occasionally. I believe in working efficiently. I always strive to do all the required work in the time necessary. Arianna recalls a similar wake-up call where she fell and injured herself due to exhaustion and lack of sleep. Through this book, I have also learnt to schedule my sleep times. It feels like primary school all over again with those 8pm bed time calls! Because I dedicate my evenings to reading books, watching inspirational videos and sometimes some series, it is easy to sleep as late as midnight. I schedule my sleep time alarm to ensure that I do not come up with the inevitable excuse for snoozing my alarm the next morning.

You are a badass-Jen Sincero

You are a badass

Jen Sincero is that sassy aunt with wit, down-to-earth humor and blunt truths! Reading this book was refreshing. No topic is too mundane in this book. She is telling you to snap out of whatever is getting in the way of you being a badass. ‘You are a victim of the rules you live by’. The rules you live by can be determined by what you absorb from your surroundings and forms of influence. Not all of it is positive. We need to find a quiet space that allows us to identify those causal elements and break them down. ‘The life you want is right here, right now’. What type of life do you envision for yourself? Are you living that life now? What do you need to do live that life? Start now. #thatisall.

Ok, ok, it’s not that easy. If it was, we would be living our best lives already. This is where my third book comes in.

Miracle Morning-Hal Elrod

Miracle Morning 2

Of the three books, this was my favorite! I always know a book is good by countless personal notes in the margins or rather in the notes section of my kindle. I had many aha moments and it resonated with a lot of what I had been thinking prior to reading the book. I have often declared that I am not a morning person even though I desire to be one. I believe that if I wake up early, I get a good start to my day. This is instead of the usual scramble in the morning to shower, dress up and get my foot out of the door to make it in time for my first meeting. Hal Elrod says ‘It’s time to wake up to your FULL potential.’ He believes that it all starts with how you wake up in the morning, and that there are small, simple steps that one can start taking today to enable one to become the person they need to be to create the levels of success they truly want and deserve. Hal also gives us a 95% reality check-95% of our society is settling for far less than they are capable of, struggling in almost every area of their life. The other 5% are simply thriving. He advises us to ‘identify the fundamental causes of mediocrity so you prevent them from robbing you of the life you want’.

The greatest insight from this book would be the Life S.A.V.E.R.S. These are the 6 practices that Hal says are guaranteed to save you from a life of unfulfilled potential.

S is for Silence-it is starting the morning with a period of purposeful silence and shutting all the noise that is determine to destroy your day before it even begins. This can be through meditation, prayer, reflection, deep breathing and gratitude.

A is for Affirmations- shutting any negative internal dialogue and replacing it with positive assertions about yourself. This prevents you from ‘repeating and reliving the fears, insecurities, and limitations of your past.’

V is for Visualization-This is the process of imagining exactly what you want to achieve or attain, and then mentally rehearsing what you’ll need to do to achieve or attain it. I have always had a vision board but Hal emphasized the importance of viewing it daily and amending it when the necessary.

E is for Exercise-‘From waking you up and enhancing your mental clarity, to helping you sustain higher levels of energy throughout the day, exercising soon after rising can improve your life in many ways.’

R is for Reading- I am obviously an advocate for this. Because I read before I go to bed, I dedicate my Miracle Morning to reading thought-pieces and articles.

S is for Scribing-This empowers one to document their idea, insights, successes and areas of opportunity.

‘Whatever it is that you write, putting words on the page is a form of therapy that doesn’t cost a dime.’-Diana Raab

 My biggest lesson from reading these books has been that one can search and read about how to improve themselves but you have to be mentally prepared to do the work that is required to see your efforts be realized. And even if you are not in that mental space yet, reading and learning as much as possible still comes a long way into getting to where you want to be.

Have you read any of these books? How have they empowered you in your personal development journey?

 

Eat Pray Love

Eat, Pray, Love made me do it.

Eat pray love…

I did not enjoy reading this book. It was like that new guy in the office that everyone raves about but when you see him, you still ask for the new guy because your thirst is not satisfied. With every page I flipped, I could not help but roll my eyes at Liz’s (the writer’s) apparent lack of awareness of her own privilege; I only finished this book because of “media pressure” and I sincerely hoped that she would redeem herself at the end of the book with some possible insights, wisdom or something.

I love love and I believe that companionship enhances feelings and emotions that I already have. With no doubt you can be happy, you can have fun, be challenged and be fulfilled without the validation of a man. Throughout the whole book Liz was obsessed with male attention which made me question why she went on this journey searching for her best self. In my opinion she flirted her way through the book and just fell into the trap of the western world and their obsession with eastern religions.

In as much as I hated how “Eat, Pray Love” was written, along with the writers ignorance, the objectives of the journey is what inspired me to do it. The objective being able to answer the simple question, “what do I want?” Your identity and happiness is definitely at the end of the honest answer to the question.

…made me do it.

Sometime last year I went on a quest for pleasure and devotion in the Far East and Far West of Africa. The objective of this trip was to find the sweet spot between mind and my soul. I wanted to find my best self in every aspect of my life.

I decided to go on this journey because of three simple reasons. I was at a stage in my life that my vision for self was a little blurry, I could not recognise myself and lastly I could afford it (I am beginning to sound like Liz). This article is less about the book and what it made me do but about the little nuggets that I found interesting.

While walking through the streets of Africa I was like a curious little child, always asking why.

I encountered a businessperson from Eretria, Solomon. Unfortunately, it had to be a man but I did not go looking for it. Solomon had his ducks in a row but did not have a companion so he was on a pursuit of love, he was visiting a woman he had never met but was certain she was the one because they had been chatting for months. Solomon left me with the following things to reflect on:

  • Life is too short, do what makes your heart happy.
  • Your family should be your core.
  • Use a condom.
  • Love is worth the sacrifice.
  • My man was born in the eighties.
  • Have lots fun

Out of all the things he said during our encounter, I hold this one point more dearly; for you to evolve, do everything fully.

Ethiopian Food

          Addis Ababa

In Addis Ababa I overindulged, I ate local cuisines that my palate could not recognise, I danced with strangers and I consumed an array of beverages. I had conversations with everyone who was willing to listen. It brought so much joy into my life because for once in my life I was able to converse without trying to make a first impression or satisfy a preconceived idea of who I should be. It was so freeing and refreshing. I reflect on the following nuggets from this experience:

  • Life is too short to be insecure.
  • You need to marry your friend (Lessons from married men who love their kids but not their wives).
  • Respect is important to woman as much as it is important to men.
  • Do not put value to money.
  • Be authentic; do not doctor the way you talk or express yourself to suit a stereotype.
  • The sacrifices your parents made were not for you to be mediocre.

Abidjan 2

     Abidjan

During my travel between Abidjan and Yamoussoukro, I focused on feeling instead of doing. This was the hardest part of the journey because I was nursing the hangover of overindulging in pleasure. It did not surprise me that the biggest reflection for me was on SELF CONTROL! The contrast of the high then low allowed me to look in deeper than the surface. I felt like I was in forced rehabilitation. Because I was out of time and the constant reminder of the objective of the trip, I pushed myself harder and allowed myself to search deeper. In addition to self-control this experience taught me the following:

  • I am worth it.
  • You need to be in the present because tomorrow is just an idea.
  • Do everything with passion.

In as much as the objective of visiting Elubo was to balance out pleasure and devotion it is still a journey I go on daily with intention.

To answer the big question, I am clear about what I want and I am unapologetic about it!

By Pepsi

A Philanthropist by night and a marketer by day. She is always keen to listen and learn.

Thank you for sharing your journey. I am inspired to continue travelling and exploring the world. I appreciate your honest thoughts on the book and how you made the ‘Eat,Pray,Love’  journey your own. There are many lessons to be learnt out there and you do not need to travel far. We have many hidden gems within our own continent of Africa.

Travel and Books.That’s all I really need! :)-Lerato

 

The Year of Yes

So, Tell Me Who are You?

I gasped taken aback by the one question that demands an instantaneous response, but the weightiest question I have encountered. You don’t want to flounder; you want to respond with the eloquence that is reserved for royalty. You want to pause at all the right places for the listener to feel the texture of who you are descend upon them. You want to be certain of even the conjunctions that string together this all-encompassing tapestry. You want confidence to beam with the certainty of a sunrise in your very eyes.

“ I notice authenticity without so much as a second glance. They’re the ones with white knuckles and shaking hands. The world tries to rip it from them but they never let go. You must grab hold of who you are with both hands and never let go.”- Cindy Cherie

Authenticity: I soon realized that, that twelve letter world was all things I hoped my response would be to that question, “Who are you?” and any other question that resembled it. I found this virtue the spring from which all other virtues were free to be entirely themselves. Kindness was one of a kind. Happiness was joy. Humility was the realization that you my dear are not the center of the universe.

I found myself obsessing over authenticity and all of a sudden wherever I looked there it was staring at me adorned in all its glory but oblivious to me staring at it. It wasn’t there to solicit my praise but when I applauded it, it glanced over its shoulder and smiled.

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ] A good book in the beach is pure BLISS. ...................... Ms. @sharoniogwang and Siwe at Cape Town, South Africa ..................... Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader ...................... #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #bloggers #blogpost #black #Africansread #africa #africanliterature #sisterswhoread #blackgirlsreadtoo #follow #yearofyes #beautifulsouthsudan #shondarhimes #beach #sand #capetown #southafrica #blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]
A good book in the beach is pure BLISS. …………………. Ms. @sharoniogwang and Siwe at Cape Town, South Africa ………………… Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader …………………. #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #bloggers #blogpost #black #Africansread #africa #africanliterature #sisterswhoread #blackgirlsreadtoo #follow #yearofyes #beautifulsouthsudan #shondarhimes #beach #sand #capetown #southafrica
#blvbc

I recently read the Year of YES by Shonda Rhimes, what I marveled at was how she didn’t attempt to perform literary gymnastics unless she really felt like it. She was shockingly honest about the things she struggled with and the wounds she is still plastering. She confesses that she like many women struggled and still struggles to embrace compliments, irrespective of the fact that she Shonda essentially owns Thursday night television with Greys Anatomy and Scandal. The Year of YES, was a challenge to say yes to the things she feared and this is how she undid the fear. Saying yes to what she feared she soon realized she was saying “Yes” to the parts of herself that she felt undeserving of, was saying yes to “stepping into the sun”.

She takes a scalpel and dissects the character Cristina from Greys Anatomy and how she represented a rainbow of authenticity that Shonda vicariously lived through and found herself.

This Cristina that we made was a revelation. She was never silenced. Never small. Never insecure to make good on her natural gifts. The Cristina of our collective dreams was larger than life. While often afraid she overcame her fears through sheer strength of will. This is why I wrote her more eloquently. Coloured her brightly and drew outside the lines.”

I have since seen this authenticity rear it’s head in the humility of Maya Angelou: “ I consider nothing human alien from me.” I see it in Chimamanda’s brilliantly crafted letter to Michelle Obama applauding her for being not what was expected but striving for true above unique. Its in the way Chimamanda wholeheartedly celebrates Michelle in words that are alive, raw and oh so generous. It’s in Zadie Smith and how she admits that she doesn’t read comments about her writing simply because she doesn’t have the stomach for it and she would rather be happy than voluntarily seek unhappiness. All these women are yards from perfect but they are real. Perhaps by knowing what we like, what we don’t, what makes us happy, by intimately knowing ourselves we are better able to just be all that we are. Witty, Intellectual, Childish, Idealistic, free. The wind, rain, a train and spring time.

The Year of Yes 2

 

So, Tell me Who are You?

By Ijangolet Ogwang

Ijangolet Ogwang is bullish on Africa. She is most passionate about complexities and the opportunities hidden on the continent. When she isn’t writing, she is reading books from multi-faceted disciplines. She is passionate about how entrepreneurship can be used as a tool for economic growth, catalyzing the idea that business must be used as a tool for doing good and social impact. She is a Finance professional, understanding the stories numbers tell by day and crafting stories by night

The Year of Yes is on my list of books to read in my #30bookchallenge. Ijangolet has given me another reason to read it. We are a month and a half into 2017. May it encompass the authenticity we need in order to live our best lives. Let us know who we are and never let go.-Lerato

 

[AfricanGirlsRead]
Happy New Year. May 2017 come with lots of reading, learning and growth.
We will be starting a new series called #AfricanGirlsRead.
••••••••••••••••••••
Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader.
••••••••••••••••••••
#books #bookfollow 
#bookstagram 
#ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #AfricanGirlsRead 
#blvbc

#AfricanGirlsRead

Happy 2017!! This is our first post for the year and we are hoping that the year has started on a good note for you. If it has not started on the best of notes, just consider January as your trial month 🙂

As we rounded off 2016 at our last Meetup, we discussed the need to start a movement and get African Girls showing off their intellect and desire for knowledge. This is something to be proud of. We felt that the movement had a place in inspiring other African girls to be on the pursuit of awareness through books. Why ‘African Girls’ you may ask? Well, BLV Book Club is proudly African. Not all the books we read are by African authors (we believe that we can learn from a wide array of genres), but the topics we discuss during our Meetups are meant to strengthen our awareness on how we can improve certain issues within the African context. An empowered woman’s best asset is her mind and books are amongst the things that help fuel the mind. Let us show this off ladies!

Here are some snippets of the #AfricanGirlsRead movement.

[AfricanGirlsRead] Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. •••••••••••••••••••• Ms. @mizzkayem at Patong Beach, Thailand. •••••••••••••••••••• Tag @blvbc and use the #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader. •••••••••••••••••••• #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #thailand #phuket #patong #kopanomatlwa #spiltmilk #AfricanGirlsRead #blvbc

[AfricanGirlsRead]
Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
••••••••••••••••••••
Ms. @mizzkayem at Patong Beach, Thailand.
••••••••••••••••••••
Tag @blvbc and use the #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader.
••••••••••••••••••••
#books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #thailand #phuket #patong #kopanomatlwa #spiltmilk #AfricanGirlsRead
#blvbc

[2017 READ]  How many books do you plan to read in 2017?  Please share your 2017 book read goals.  #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017  #czechrepublic #blvbc

[2017 READ]
How many books do you plan to read in 2017?
Please share your 2017 book read goals.
#books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #czechrepublic
#blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]  You are the best author of your life,  make sure your story is the best ................... Ms. @gillian.thuli.dube at Gran Canaria, Spain finalizing her manuscript #thescentoffreedom ................... Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next feature reader ................... #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #grancanaria ##AfricanGirlsRead #view #authors #Africansread #africa #blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]
You are the best author of your life, make sure your story is the best
……………….
Ms. @gillian.thuli.dube at Gran Canaria, Spain finalizing her manuscript #thescentoffreedom
……………….
Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next feature reader
………………. #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #grancanaria ##AfricanGirlsRead #view #authors #Africansread #africa #blvbc

[READING PLATFORMS]  Which platform do you prefer to read your books? Some people prefer a hard copy,  some reading from their phones or laptops or on Kindle.  Please share your preferred reading platforms we are interested to know which platform is mostly favored.  #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #readingplatform #Readers #ebooks #kindle #hardcopy #onlinereading #beach  #bookclub #blvbc

[READING PLATFORMS]
Which platform do you prefer to read your books? Some people prefer a hard copy, some reading from their phones or laptops or on Kindle.
Please share your preferred reading platforms we are interested to know which platform is mostly favored.
#books #bookfollow #bookstagram #readingplatform #Readers #ebooks #kindle #hardcopy #onlinereading #beach
#bookclub #blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]  BE A SMART MONEY WOMAN ....................... Ms. @asakeokin at Lagos, Nigeria ....................... Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader ........................ #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #Africansreaders #africa #africanliterature #africanwriters #africanauthors #Africansread #follow #blackwomen #blackgirlsreadtoo #thesmartmoneywoman #areseugwu #lagos #naijablogger #nigeria  #blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]
BE A SMART MONEY WOMAN ………………….. Ms. @asakeokin at Lagos, Nigeria ………………….. Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader …………………… #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #Africansreaders #africa #africanliterature #africanwriters #africanauthors #Africansread #follow #blackwomen #blackgirlsreadtoo #thesmartmoneywoman #areseugwu #lagos #naijablogger #nigeria
#blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]  A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read ..................... Ms.  Siwe at Czech Republic .................... Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader .................... #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #qouteoftheday #inspirationalqoute #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #Africansread #africanliterature #africa #follow #czechrepublic  #blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]
A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read ………………… Ms. Siwe at Czech Republic ……………….. Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader ………………..
#books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #qouteoftheday #inspirationalqoute #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #Africansread #africanliterature #africa #follow #czechrepublic
#blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]  Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home . ..................... MS. @liraydo at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates ..................... Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader ..................... #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #Africansread #africa #africanliterature #blackgirlsreadtoo #abudhabi #unitedarabemirates #traveling #spiltmilk #kopanomatlwa #blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]
Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home
. ………………… MS. @liraydo at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates …………………
Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader …………………
#books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #Africansread #africa #africanliterature #blackgirlsreadtoo #abudhabi #unitedarabemirates #traveling #spiltmilk #kopanomatlwa
#blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]  The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. ...................... Ms. @pepsi_porc between Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa ..................... Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader .................... #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #Africansread #africanreaders  #africanliterature #africanwriters #africanauthors #africa #follow #blackgirlsreadtoo #flying #plane #johannesburg #durban #southafrica #blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. ………………….
Ms. @pepsi_porc between Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa …………………
Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader ………………..
#books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #Africansread #africanreaders #africanliterature #africanwriters #africanauthors #africa #follow #blackgirlsreadtoo #flying #plane #johannesburg #durban #southafrica #blvbc

[AfricanGirlsRead] Books are a uniquely portable magic. •••••••••••••••••••• Ms. @didilexx at Shongweni Farmers Market, South Africa. •••••••••••••••••••• Tag @blvbc and use the #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader. •••••••••••••••••••• #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #shongweni #AfricanGirlsRead #blvbc

[AfricanGirlsRead]
Books are a uniquely portable magic.
••••••••••••••••••••
Ms. @didilexx at Shongweni Farmers Market, South Africa.
••••••••••••••••••••
Tag @blvbc and use the #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader.
••••••••••••••••••••
#books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #shongweni #AfricanGirlsRead
#blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]  Financial freedom is when passive income exceeds your expenses ................... Ms. @cutelypetite at Railway corporations, Eastern Metta, Lagos State, Nigeria getting her #thesmartmoneywoman book signed by he author @smartmoneyarese .................... Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader .................... #books #bookfollow #bookstagram  #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #mondaymotivation #inspirationalqoute #follow #africanauthors #Africansread #africanliterature #authors #africa #BLACK #lagos #nigeria  #blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]
Financial freedom is when passive income exceeds your expenses ………………. Ms. @cutelypetite at Railway corporations, Eastern Metta, Lagos State, Nigeria getting her #thesmartmoneywoman book signed by he author @smartmoneyarese ……………….. Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader ……………….. #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #mondaymotivation #inspirationalqoute #follow #africanauthors #Africansread #africanliterature #authors #africa #BLACK #lagos #nigeria
#blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]  Have the confidence and curiosity to know things that are not in your lane. ..................... Ms. @tiny_bookworm_ in Kenya .................... Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader ..................... #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #wearethechangemakers #thefourhourworkweek #howtochangetheworld #kenya #blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]
Have the confidence and curiosity to know things that are not in your lane. ………………… Ms. @tiny_bookworm_ in Kenya ……………….. Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader ………………… #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #wearethechangemakers #thefourhourworkweek #howtochangetheworld #kenya #blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]  Think!  It's not illegal yet. ...................... Ms. @cutelypetite at Benin City, Edo State,  Nigeria. ...................... Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader. ...................... #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #Africansread #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #nigeria #benincity #howtowincustomers #keepthemforlife #blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]
Think!
It’s not illegal yet. …………………. Ms. @cutelypetite at Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. …………………. Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader. …………………. #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #Africansread #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #nigeria #benincity #howtowincustomers #keepthemforlife #blvbc

The movement has helped us gain many followers and will not be restricted to January but will be ongoing. Follow us on Instagram: blvbc and join the movement.

We urge you to continue on this journey with us. I, personally, have taken up a #30bookchallenge for 2017 which I feel is fairly achievable. I plan to read a lot more about Personal Effectiveness, Marketing, Financial literacy and a bit of fiction to get my imagination running. What are your reading goals for the year?

Let us make 2017 great.

#AfricanGirlsRead

#blvbc

Lerato is a Supply Chain professional in the FMCG industry. Not satisfied with being confined to her day job, Lee is always reading something different. The development of women and Africa are what fuel her passion. She would one day love to have dinner with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and pick her brain on so many issues.

 

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BLVBOOKCLUB-2016 IN REVIEW

Some years ago, I said, whilst walking with 2 of my guy friends, ‘I think we should have a book club.’ They looked at me like I was crazy, and after a second or two of silence they confirmed their thoughts with their laughter.

That was in 2011.

I figured it was another one of my Western ideas. I have been accused at times of having what people may describe as ‘white’ behaviours. That is in no way racist at all by the way. That’s just to express that somehow there are things not considered to be part of black or African behaviour.

One of my old pastors used to encourage us to read widely, and he used to share this joke that my dad shared recently too – “If you want to hide anything from a black man, put it in a book”. This was to say that black people are generally not considered to be well read, and hardly open books.

Don’t get it confused – we are definitely academics, we have a high IQ and are well studied in our various professions, however, beyond schooling, a number of us are not well versed with ‘other’ material. I’ll be a first to confess, outside of one genre, Christian reading, I did not read many other books before BLV Book Club. I definitely read tons of articles around what to do before 30 yada yada on LinkedIn and other platforms, but I honestly could not have been bothered to actually purchase these. I mean, I struggled to read my own Shakespeare set-books for Literature in high school (bad confession from a fellow author)

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Photo credit: Asake-Okin

Anyway, I never pursued, or even mentioned, the idea of a book club again. I likely wasn’t as passionate enough about it at the time maybe. It was still just a hint of an idea.

Fast forward to 2016.

My dear friend, Lerato, invited me to join in on a BLV session. I remember thinking wow – that’s not so white after all 🙂 I was so excited to be invited to such a meeting! If there is one message I heard that stuck in 2016 it was this one – SUSPEND YOUR SKEPTICISM.

We have reached the end of 2016 and the book club is still alive!!! Yay!!! And I’ll be honest, joining it has been one of the best decisions I made in this year. I have grown as a person and widened my scope of reading.

The reason we made it to the end of 2016 was not because of me by the way. Lerato has consistently kept the book club together and going. I’ll confess that I have not always pulled my weight in this club….I’ll let others make their own confessions (No need to name and shameJ )

She has ensured that the blog is alive and kicking, and has timely updates for the page. She puts her time and energy into this. I can admit that my friends had good reason to laugh and put me off – not because it’s a white idea, but because it’s so much hard work and I can’t imagine I would managed anyway back then. I’m encouraged by my friend, to consistently pursue my passions. More often than not, she is writing the next article, reviewing a book, praising the good work of others, however, I believe she herself deserves some recognition. I am actually very proud of her, and I speak with so much pride on a Sunday afternoon when I tell my peers ‘I have a meeting with my friends from the bookclub, gotta go.’ Never have I engaged with people that have such thought provoking conversations, around Africa, women and financial freedom, amongst other things – women determined to grow in other arenas outside of their careers. It’s a good thing I am based overseas – they never get to see the shock on my face when they say some things. Not because they are bad or shallow things, nope, but because I’m always like wow!!! It’s a good shock. It’s a mind stimulating shock! Clearly I need to up my game in this arena called life J

Yesterday, this young lady behind the book club shared an email with us from (un-disclosable at this point) about (again, un-disclosable yet), lol. I can only disclose that as I read the thread, I smiled from ear to ear.

Here is to a good year Lee, and a better one ahead. To relentlessly pursued and realised dreams! I know that’s your portion!

#AfricanGirlsReadToo#BLVBookClub#CheersToLerato#2017WillBeGreat#blvbc

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Thuli Dube is a Chartered Accountant, Author and Publishing Consultant, who finds her therapy, healing and release in writing. She has a heart for young people, with a special focus towards young women and a passion for youth education and empowerment. Thuli is keen to bring life transformation to her audience by assisting with their transition process into becoming whole and restored individuals. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, she relocated to the UK in 2015.

You have got me feeling like I am cutting onions Thuli!  Thank you so much. It has truly been a pleasure making this happen and the truth is this would not be possible without the members contributing to #blvbc. In 2016 I have learnt to align with my passions and purpose. This is something I am slowly carving for myself-a work in progress. My love for #blvbc has meant that even when we have writers’ block, not as many views as we would like and it seems like we have reached a plateau, I keep moving forward. #2017WillBeGreat!-Lerato

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Reflection Points

It is not every day that you can claim to have an author as a friend. When Thuli first told me about her plans to write a book I was excited for her. It is something that I have been thinking of doing one day and to see someone my age, from a similar background realise a similar dream is inspiring. Inviting her to the book club was a no-brainer!

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Thuli is passionate about youth education and empowerment. Her book-The Scent of Freedom: Rest in You is just that-Empowering! Within her first year of publishing, Thuli has already been nominated for the Zimbabwe International Women’s Awards-Author of the Year. You might remember the article http://blvbookclub.com/2016/08/11/the-scent-of-freedom-why-i-wrote-the-book/.

The Scent of Freedom is the type of book which you will extract a lot of value from if you are ready to do the work. By work I mean, taking time to face your demons head on, being brutally honest with yourself and furthermore, reflecting on how you can live your best life. I read this book at the perfect time in my life, even though I will admit, I tried to resist it because of the deep thoughts it made me confront. Having it as our November Book Club Read helped a lot and the discussions during our last Meetup made me realise that there is a need for books like this. It also served as the perfect book to end the year.

I will share with you the parts in the book that stood out for us:

Reflection time- Because the nature of the book requires setting some time for reflection, a question was posed on the importance of reflection. The Scent of Freedom has reflection points in every chapter. These are some questions that help steer your thoughts. This is useful in helping you clear your thoughts and come to a resolution on the best way forward. A common thread I have observed with the leaders I have encountered is that of setting time to reflect. They use it to look at the past-what worked and what did not work and to look at plans for the future.

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How often you reflect is up to each individual but there is also a danger in ‘overreflecting’. Be careful of this to avoid spending too much time wallowing in your thoughts and not enough time doing something about it.

 

Playing charades- This was my favorite chapter in the book. This mainly revolves around authenticity. My initial interpretation was that of the image we portray to those around us. This could be our immediate friends and family and on social media at large. A quick disclaimer that the ladies so rightly pointed out was that social media will always be a tool to show the best version of ourselves to the world. Very rarely do we find ourselves being vulnerable on this tool. The important form of authenticity is that which is to ourselves. It is so easy to believe our own lies. Are you being honest with yourself? It is all good and well to smile at the world and act like everything is ok but you owe yourself the highest form of authenticity or else you run the risk of the faҫade you have so well created unmasking itself.

At the toughest point in my life, I found myself learning to answer the question we often overlook – ‘Are you ok? How are you?’. I learnt to say no when I was not ok. I am glad I did that because it allowed me to address why I was not ok. Pretending to be ok would have left me dealing with the issue 3 months later. I urge you to do the same when you check in with yourself or when someone close to you asks you that question.

It does not take much for our dreams to die- It is so easy to find fault within our dreams and reasons for why they could never work out. We allow society to guide our worth. I urge you to look back at what dreams your 16 year old self had. Have you accomplished those dreams? If not, why? Chances are high that you allowed your dreams to die gripped by the fear of failure. Well, the next step is to ask yourself what are your dreams now. My favorite quote by Sheryl Sandberg is ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ Do it. Don’t let those dreams die. 

Forgiving yourself- ‘Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you’. We tend to bury our heads in the sand, ashamed of the scars that serve as reminders to the whole world of the fact that our lives are not perfect. Scars- emotional or physical, are reminders of our past. Regardless of whether they are self-inflicted or caused by others, you are still standing. Let us own our mistakes, forgive ourselves and use those scars to prevent ourselves from making the same mistakes. Better still, let us use our scars to serve as testimonies to those around us. Let us turn lemons into pink lemonade 🙂

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Happy holidays!

Lerato is a Supply Chain professional in the FMCG industry. Not satisfied with being confined to her day job, Lee is always reading something different. The development of women and Africa are what fuel her passion. She would one day love to have dinner with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and pick her brain on so many issues.

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Beyond Life’s Void: What we are about

I have been getting a lot of enquiries about what #blvbc is about and how people can be a part of the movement.

BLVBC was started in November 2015 when a couple of friends and I started meeting up to discuss books over some wine on a Sunday afternoon. We each had different relationships with books but had similar goals of becoming avid readers. We are young professionals who are particularly passionate about Africa. This does not limit us to the types of books we read though. The books somehow always lead to conversations pertinent to our lives.

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We all get to read the same book every two months alternating with our own personal books. Everyone gets to choose the book of the month at some point and the genres of books we read vary.

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We meet on a monthly basis. The idea behind the book club is that it is easy to read many books and still not absorb the essence of what the book is about. Reading and getting various opinions on the same book allows one to be multi-dimensional in their thinking. There are many instances where we have read the same book and each person had a different perspective on the book. This has also opened the forum to many conversations and arguments. These are encouraged. That is how passionate we are about books! One of our most powerful sessions was when we discussed Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. The conversation centered on how we as young, driven women handle our finances. We shared tips and the highlight has been on some of us working towards getting into property management! I would not have been proactive about setting my eyes on property management in the near future had it not been for the book club session. I cannot wait to share the success story of our endeavor when the time comes. Such is the power of women coming together, empowering each other and sharing ideas!

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It was in February 2016 when two of the book club members and I discussed how rewarding it would be if we could share our discussions on a public forum. If these discussions can help us, surely they can help others too. Not everyone in the group is a bona fide writer but that does not hinder us from sharing our stories. Each individuals’ story is valid and besides, writing is a skill I have always wanted to hone and the website provides me with the outlet to do so.

Ultimately, we want to be a forum for all things |African|Woman|Conversations| with our values being:

Knowledge Sharing: Cultivating a reading culture among sisters.

Honesty: Creating a bond through honest conversations.

Story Telling: Rewriting the African woman’s narrative.

Collaboration: Empowerment and opening our minds through sharing and collaboration.

Inspiration: Encouraging women to feel good about themselves and strive to be the best they can be with what they have.

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We plan to tap into that #africangirlmagic and keep the conversations flowing on many topics and issues.

To join us, feel free to contact us on info@blvbookclub.com and subscribe to our newsletter.