As the world celebrates Valentine’s day, we honor five couples who not only inspire us, but continue to make their mark, proving that two are truly better one. We wish them many more years in life and success!
Fela and Tara Durotoye
Fela Durotoye is an internationally renowned motivational speaker. He was born in Ibadan, Nigeria in 1971. He moved on to earn a bachelor?s degree in Computer science and economics, followed by an MBA and an M.Phil is strategic management. A?successful?author, Fela is also the CEO of Visible Impact, ?a social enterprise set up to tackle social and environmental challenges and limitations with the aim to build people into?super-achievers?and responsible leaders”.
Tara Durotoye is the leading pioneer makeup artist in Nigeria. She founded Tara makeovers wherew she practices her trade, as well as trains young women in the arts of the trade. She won the ?Young Entrepreneur Award.? Today, Tara maintains her own makeup brand ?Tara Orekelewa?.
Fela’s open love letter to?his?wife on their fourth wedding anniversary, which he shares every year, continues to be an?inspiration to both singles and couples. Married on Fela’s birthday, the pair celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in 2011.
Zerenesay Mehari and Mehret Mandefro
Zerenesay Mehari is a writers and director and the founder of Haile Addis Pictures. Zerenesay has said that he felt a great responsibility to show and tell the Ethiopian story the right way. He was born in Ethiopia and since relocated to the United States where he attended film school and achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree from USC School of Cinematic Arts. Although his father dissaroved of his career path, his persistence has paid off. Zerenesay produced his first narrative feature film?Difret?which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival where it won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award.
Dr. Mehret Mandefro is a public health physician, researcher and scholar. Since graduating from Harvard Medical School, she has dedicated a good amount of her career working with the HIV infected populations in several countries and communities: Botswana, South Africa, Ethiopia, and New York. She founded the nonprofit ?Truth Aid? with a pilot grant while at the University of Pennsylvania. As a White House Fellow, Mehret has helped sculpt health policy. She has also served as a health policy advisor in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Precious Moloi Motsepe and Patrice Motsepe
Dr. Precious Moloi Motsepe is a businesswoman, humanitarian and physician. She began her career at the University of Witwatersrand, and she has since worked in both the private and public health sectors. She opened one of the first womens health clinics in Johannesburg.?Today, she works to educate and advise women on health issues in collaboration with NGO?s. She heads the Motsepe Family Foundation where she works to positively impact the community and nurture young talent.
Patrice Motsepe is a South African mining magnate. He has large interests in gold and other precious metals.? He was born in Soweto and then trained as a lawyer. He began his stint in the mining business by purchasing low-performing mine shafts in 1994 and then turning them profitable. He is South Africa?s first and only black billionaire, and the first African to sign the Bill Gates and Warren Buffet Giving pledge. His mining conglomerate is publicly traded as African Rainbow Minerals (ARM).
Patrice is listed on Forbes as the 11th?richest person in Africa.
Acha Leke and Swaady Martin Leke
Fondly known as “Swaacha”, this amazing duo brings a lot to the table. Acha Leke is the director of the Lagos office of McKinsey. He began as an associate in McKinsey?s Johannesburg office. He works with key public sector institutions and major companies to help accelerate Africa?s growth and development. Acha was a lead author on a McKinsey report on the growth prospects of Africa. His works have been featured in?The Economist?and?The Wall Street Journal. Acha co-founded the African Leadership Academy which mentors the next generation of African leaders. He was listed on the Forbes list of the 10 youngest power men in Africa.
Swaady Martin Leke is an Ivorian entrepreneur. She prides herself as custodian of Africa?s history and culture. She is the founder of YSWARA which is an African global luxury brand using only the continents natural resources. Her products include gourmet beverages, jewelry, and fragrances. Swaady was the Director of GE Transportation in Sub-Saharan Africa and the acting CEO for GE South Africa Technologies.
Forbes has branded her the ?Queen of African Luxury?.
Marcus Samuelsson and Maya Haile
Marcus Samuelsson is a widely known chef and restaurateur. He was born in Ethiopia and grew up in Sweden, where he gained his appreciation for cooking alongside his grandmother. He furthered this interest when he graduated from the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, Sweden. Marcus is the cofounder of the Townhouse Restaurant Group, and he has appeared on countless television shows including?Top Chef?and the self-named?The Inner Chef with Marcus Samuelsson.?Marcus has written cookbooks including?New American Table?and?The Soul of a New Cuisine.? He has also authored his personal memoir?Yes, Chef.
Maya Haile is a former nurse and a model who relocated from Holland to enter the US modelling industry. She was spotted by a modelling scout in Manhattan when she was 21. She then worked with the Elite Modelling Agency. Maya was born in Ethiopia but was raised in Holland before she made her move to the US. Maya is currently signed to L?Oreal New York.
What many love about this couple is their undeniable connection to their Ethiopian heritage despite being raised in Northern Europe. Both are philanthropists who enjoy giving back and helping to improve the lives of others around them.
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