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Newsroom | 2020-08-24

The next fierce female in our #OKWomenYouCanCountOn feature is Zanele Luvuno, a successful entrepreneur, businesswoman and owner of OK Foods Jamaica. Zanele primarily sought to hire females when they first opened their doors as she believes that by empowering women, you empower households and in turn communities – a strong message for #WomensMonth!

Who has been a strong female role model to you?

I have so many women I admire, Dr Maya Angelou, the late Winnie Mandela, Michelle Obama, Ava DuVernay, Rihanna, Serena Williams, and what I love about all of them is that they unapologetically live their truth.

What advice do you have for any young girl who has their sights set on a career in retail/business?

Build yourself both technically as well as from the inside. It’s very important to have a strong sense of self, as many times you will be the only one who is able to see your vision and you will have to find ways to make it come to life. Surround yourself with people you can learn from and be sure to always add value to others as well. Learn detachment – it goes a long way. Most important is to stand in your truth. They don’t tell you this, but when we operate from a place of authenticity the universe somehow rises up to meet us along the way.

Best business advice you’ve been given?

Like Nike – just do it! But meaningful advice has been limited so I’ve learned to be my own strategist, counsellor and cheerleader along the way.

At OK, we pride ourselves on being owners you can count on. Is there any special way you are trying to make a difference in the lives of the people in your community?

My community is very important to me, and I have had the privilege of being able to impact them in a meaningful way. When we opened our doors, I primarily sought to hire women, as we are both breadwinners and caregivers and our burden is greater. I have been able to achieve this. They, in turn, have been able to empower not just themselves but their households and as a result their immediate community.

Please share your favourite motivational or inspirational quote with us.

“If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude” – Dr Maya Angelou

Do you have a charity/special cause that is close to your heart?

I have a special place in my heart for young women. I believe they need to see more women like themselves and hear more stories so they may know what is possible. When we don’t see people who look like us in the media or in boardrooms we don’t know what or how we can become our greatest selves.