What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
Mom, Wife, Daughter, Founder & CEO. My everyday purpose is to get up in the morning and to try and find a way through this maze we call life. And hopefully doing it with a smile on my face.
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
I wanted to change the world for the better for people like me, somehow, some way. I didn't know how, I just knew I would have to do something pretty spectacular to get people to listen to me. I then quickly realised that I didn't need to change the world, I just had to change the world around me. My small little place in the world. So I decided to become the best person I could become and try and touch the people that I came into contact with in my life. If I could help to inspire one person to change their perspective and open their minds to see the world differently and in a better light, then I would be doing my small part to leave behind a better world for my children.
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
"Don't wait until next year to start this venture, Rose. You will want that year back. Do it now. You can always go back and get a job and if you can't, I will hire you." Thank you for that John Morayniss .... it really made all the difference.
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
Freedom. No one's wings get clipped here.
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
I never answer that question anymore, as when I was 19 I asked myself that question and I was nowhere ready or knowledgeable of the heights I could aspire to. But what I can say is that I hope that everything I am doing today breaks down barriers and the face of a successful, global, fortune 100 business can look like mine.
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
Malaika Foundation. I have sponsored a girl named Inece for the past three years at a school in the Congo. The charity only asks for a small amount each month and it pays for a girl’s education, her uniform and her meals. It is a safe place to inspire young girls to dream and fulfill their goals in life no matter their circumstances.
What drives you?
I wanted to change the way people saw women of colour. That we are just as capable and have the ability to create great things given the chance. That we share in the same dreams and wishes of every female. That's all I wanted and so I set out to be the best female I could be and I hope that people that I have met see me as Rose, not a black or coloured female, just Rose. And I hope that my children will grow up in a world where my small dream is a given and they don't even have to aspire to change the world in this way. Building a great business, employing people, adding to society are everyone’s birth rights. Everyone is capable of doing this and I am driven to prove those that would disagree wrong.
Any final comments?
Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path. Embrace it. God does not make mistakes.
What does a normal day look like for you?
I start my day with a 15-minute workout before the kids start screaming. I rush to get myself and my two girls under the age of 5 ready for their day. I make breakfast. Then off for a school drop off. Then I head into the office and I hit the 150 emails waiting for me with a cup of decaf coffee. I start doing Zoom calls and internal/external meetings, followed by answering any leftover emails in my inbox. Everyone gets a response. Then I dedicate time to do business development and look at new opportunities for ScreenHits TV. I find time to have lunch at my desk and make time to return all internal emails and questions and work on the UI and UXP of our products. I then spend the next part of my day providing our clients and potential clients with information they require. I then pack up my bags and run to pick up my 5 year old daughter to take her to a playdate I somehow organised during my busy day. I usually always get the time, friend and date wrong, but I do my best! During pick up I take time to chat with her teachers and the moms/dads at school, very important. This is followed by rushing home to do homework with my 5 year old, giving kisses to my 1 year old, putting the girls to bed which consists of bath, story time, catch up from their day, and singing to baby GeGe. Once they are both asleep, I quickly pick out items for the house we are renovating, answer my personal emails, questions from builders, decorators, plumbers and electricians, joiners and then I call my mom and my friends who need to chat and then I pour a glass of wine and spend time with my husband who kindly cooks me dinner every night before retreating to the drawing room to watch an episode of the show I am currently binging, This is Us.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
I would never have said this 20 years ago, as I never wanted the responsibility of owning my own business, but this definitely tops the list and everything that comes with it. Failure is part of the job ... but success is too. All successes, no matter how big or how small .... I celebrate them all. Never giving up, sums up my proudest moment in founding my own company, as opportunity and success hit long after I should have given up.
Tell us about a woman who inspires you
Oh that is a tough one. There are so many, but I’ve chosen two. One is Harriet Tubman. Talk about obstacles. She had all of them. She worked as an abolitionist and political activist to free so many people from the chains of slavery. She was the most wanted person at the time for "breaking" the law. She was never apprehended by the authorities for her involvement with the Underground Railroad and she made over 13 missions helping to free more than 70 people, including her friends and family. To face your fears and to not let fear stop you, brilliant and everything she did was for other people. She changed the world and I admire her greatly. Also, the lesser known person is Madame CJ Walker. She came from parents who were enslaved. She was born free and made the best out of it. She became the first female millionaire in the United States and bought Villa Lewaro in Irvington, NY with Rockefeller as her neighbour. She built a successful hair care business across the United States. Her motivation, ambition and focus was exceptional and she did it in a time when people like Madame CJ Walker did not have as many opportunities as women have today.
What was your biggest failure?
Not making it to the Olympics to compete in figure skating. I really worked hard for that, but it wasn't meant for me.... and in the end, it wasn't a failure ... it was the very thing that set the stage for my work life. Sometimes failure has to happen to move us to the next stage in our lives. Failure always opens up doors and eventually better ones that were always meant for you.
What do you like most about yourself?
I always get back up. There was a time in my life where I had failed so much (workwise) and I felt so alone, as though I had no one to help me when I needed them the most. I was so young and I just couldn't see my way forward to be successful in any field or how to even go about building a career. I had no mentors, no one opening doors for me at this point in my life and I was just so tired, as I have always done everything on my own. I cried that day. But shortly after I let the tears out, I got up and I started looking at more job ads and found the role that changed my life and set me on a new trajectory in media. The message there is that when I felt there was no way forward, something inside me, thanks to my parents and my upbringing, I quickly realised that there is always a way forward... and no one but you is responsible for ensuring that you move forward. Onwards and upwards. There is always a way.
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
By seeing people as people. It is a simple phrase, but it is everything. Nobody wants handouts. Nobody wants to be a victim. Nobody wants your pity. They just want a fair chance to get a seat at the table.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
Negotiation. My parents made me negotiate for days just for one chocolate chip cookie. Those skills have served me well.