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 oices in Jo’burg and Lagos, Nigeria
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. ■