Take two challenges - one, the need to address the gender pay gap for Africa’s women entrepreneurs; and two, the need for consumers to source world-class images on Africa; and you have a recipe for a great business. The highly creative Cindy Leah, founder of The African Pictionary, is on a mission to create a business that provides an impactful solution to both challenges.
LoA chatted to the talented Cindy Leah this month to find out more.
What does your company do?
The African Pictionary is focused on building women photographers to earn an income from their work, as well as supplying the gap in stock photography on what it means to be authentically African.
“The African Pictionary is focused on building women photographers to earn an income from their work.”
What inspired you to start your company?
I have worked as a photographer for 6 years. In that time I have garnered an understanding on the sort of influence photographers have on society. The longer I have worked in the industry, the more apparent this gender gap on pay was and I felt the need to create solutions. Women are unable to support themselves solely as photographers, and that's the problem The African Pictionary will help alleviate.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Not only would our consumers help in supporting a stable income for our resident photographers, but also our consumers would get access to high quality images that proudly represent Africa. It's important to note that the entire world needs great visuals in creating pitches, upscaling their company profiles, etc. Our digital product fulfills that need in your business if you're looking for authentically African content.
“It's important to note that the entire world needs great visuals in creating pitches, upscaling their company profiles, etc. Our digital product fulfills that need in your business if you're looking for authentically African content.”
Tell us a little about your team
The team consists of myself as Founder and CEO, as well as Christine Opiyo, our Operations Manager who brings a wealth of experience managing operational branches in Start-Up enterprises. She is influenced by the desire to support not just her career growth, but also the entrepreneurial growth of more women around her. This is supported by her love for knowledge, undertaking a Masters Degree in Business Administration, majoring in Strategic Management and Finance. Christine is a big part of how The African Pictionary works on a day-to-day basis.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I never had any entrepreneurial background prior to becoming a photographer. It has and always will be my passion. The dream began when I watched the amazing Annie Leibovitz start from humble beginnings and go on to create an empire under her name that has created dozens of opportunities for other creatives. I always knew I would do something amazing with my God given talent and that's how The African Pictionary began. It is an accumulation of 6 years experience working as a photographer.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
The dream with The African Pictionary is to make it the largest stock photography app in Africa and become the Shutterstock of Africa. We want to supply to most, if not all, schools, government institutions, entrepreneurs, and businesses in Africa. We want to create job opportunities for women and the youth curious about photography. We also plan to organise meet ups and workshops across the African continent, and create a positive economic standing for Africa’s greatest creatives.
“The dream with The African Pictionary is to make it the largest stock photography app in Africa and become the Shutterstock of Africa.”
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
The freedom to think big and act on it. I have learnt to trust my own decisions more and I get the satisfaction from seeing a seed of an idea blossom into an actual photograph or product or experience. There's a dangerous spirit of adventure as a digital entrepreneur and the chase excites me.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
There's only so much you can achieve in life with just words. Choose to be proactive in your ideas, experiences and talent. Challenges will always be there, and doubt will always be there. Why not choose to see the benefits in all the challenges? That's where your personal growth lies.
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Why LoA loves it….
They say that passion drives purpose and that is certainly the case with Cindy Leah. Her passion for photography and her deep understanding of the challenges facing other women photographers in Africa when it comes to making a living from the profession they love, is what drives Cindy to make a difference. Her business has the potential to be a real game-changer, not only in her own life, but in the lives of all those women who aspire to build viable businesses through their craft. The African Pictionary will become the go-to place for creatives and customers in need of great images alike. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa