The ‘Pit­bull in Heels’ Who Dis­rupted the PR In­dus­try

Award-win­ning boss babe Farah For­tune cre­ated African Star Com­mu­ni­ca­tions to kick-start her dreams. The pub­lic-re­la­tions pow­er­house now has oˆices in Jo’burg and La­gos, Nige­ria

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - WORK -

I wanted to earn more than sim­ply a salary.

When I thought of start­ing my own busi­ness I couldn’t get a loan, so I took my last R1 000 from my last pay­cheque and spent it start­ing the busi­ness. I worked from home – my bed­room floor to be spe­cific – and I hus­tled hard! My first big client was AIG/Manch­ester United and I thought I’d made it then, but after that I didn’t get work for months. It was tough get­ting the busi­ness off the ground, es­pe­cially in such a male-dom­i­nated space.

Start­ing a busi­ness is easy – the tough part is main­tain­ing it.

It’s not for ev­ery­one and that’s okay. There’s noth­ing wrong with not want­ing to be an en­tre­pre­neur. Many peo­ple who work 9-5 jobs are bet­ter off fi­nan­cially than some en­trepreneurs. It takes some sac­ri­fice to start a busi­ness, and not ev­ery­one wants to give up such a huge part of their lives. Net­work­ing is im­por­tant to keep rel­e­vant.

African Star Com­mu­ni­ca­tions

is a pub­lic-re­la­tions and event-man­age­ment plat­form for Jozi’s A-lis­ters and no­table brands. We’re grounded in tra­di­tional pub­lic-re­la­tions ser­vices as well as car­ry­ing out all as­pects of event man­age­ment, from con­cep­tion to com­ple­tion.

I only em­ploy women and use fe­male sup­pli­ers wher­ever I can.

I’m a great be­liever in pro­vid­ing train­ing and op­por­tu­ni­ties for women. It’s very im­por­tant for me to do that, be­cause I’m a mas­cot for gen­der equal­ity, equal pay and nondis­crim­i­na­tion.My ca­reer high­light has been the fact that I’m able to cre­ate jobs and help clients achieve their goals.

The three big­gest les­sons I’ve learned over the last 10 years are to re­main hon­est, man­age your time and save.

As a self-starter, you’ll al­ways be work­ing. You have to be able to use your time ef­fec­tively so as not to burn out. ■

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