As human beings, celebrating and embracing our differences is what makes for a tolerant society, and for Andra Massamba, founder of Uabalika, this was the inspiration for starting her social entrepreneurship venture.
LoA learned more about this impact driven social entrepreneur this month and how she and her team are helping people to respect each other’s differences in her country.
What does your company do?
Uabalika is a non-profit association whose main objective is centered on sensitizing and encouraging a change of mentality regarding self-esteem and respect for differences in society. At Uabalika, Social Activism is our main activity, focusing on and seeking to raise the self-esteem of those whose confidence is undermined because of the traditional notions and standards of beauty previously established by society.
"At Uabalika, Social Activism is our main activity, focusing on and seeking to raise the self-esteem of those whose confidence is undermined because of the traditional notions and standards of beauty previously established by society."
What inspired you to start your company?
The love of neighbor and the ability to be able to put myself in the place of others caused me to create this movement. I fight for society to be free of preconceived notions of what makes us all different, and encourage people to have freedom and feel free to live in harmony with one another.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Because we are all stuck to these traditional notions and standards in our society, it is important to get out of our comfort zone and say what we are and what we feel without being judged for having a different position to others.
Tell us a little about your team
We are a group of five girls who are on a mission to see the goals of the association achieved, whether through our lectures, our communication and social activism campaigns and everything else we do. We develop activities for human development, campaigns to address bullying in schools and within families, to improve self esteem, and to encourage greater respect for people’s differences in society.
"I fight for society to be free of preconceived notions of what makes us all different, and encourage people to have freedom and feel free to live in harmony with one another."
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
We have been a year in existence and during this period we organized two lectures which both took place last year - the first was all about self-love, and the second was a challenge to stylists that resulted in the launch of the first edition of the Plus Size Parade. We organised a special Christmas campaign last December on the theme of Inspire Love, Spread Love. This year saw the launch of the Amarra Capulana, Vamos Cultivar campaign where we visited maternity wards and offered capulanas to all the women there to mark the official Day of the Mozambican woman which took place on 7th April. And on June 16 we launched the Uabalika Kids initiative.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I would like to be able to achieve all our goals and to help people who suffer from these preconceived and traditional notions and standards of what is normal, or what is beauty, to reclaim the love that exists within them and to see our society free of these restrictive thought patterns. Because there are much more important things in life, such as love and support for each other.
"We develop activities for human development, campaigns to address bullying in schools and within families, to improve self esteem, and to encourage greater respect for people’s differences in society."
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I do not consider myself an entrepreneur in the traditional sense because I do not make money from what I do, but what I do is social entrepreneurship. I gain the satisfaction from knowing that I can help others, and I sleep happily when I know that the results I am aiming for through my work and my organization have been achieved. I like to think that each one of our campaigns have a value to society and that in a way will help anyone who has experienced social acceptance problems.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
For women, never give up, however difficult and long the path is, never give up!
I have Faith, Strength and Focus, and that is all and enough to achieve everything we want in life.
Contact or follow Uabalika
Why LoA loves it….
Africa needs change agents who can make things happen in communities and society at large, and in Mozambique, Andra Massamba and her team at Uabalika are doing just that. Their passion for social activism and their acknowledgement of the need to change attitudes and actions around key issues is a great example of what can be done when you have social entrepreneurs to drive that change. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa