Ms. Rosemary Chileshe is an inspirational woman who lives her life with courage, focus and humility. I was honored that she granted me an interview some time ago and when I reached out again for a follow up - she said, why not? let's do this. I hope you read this and be inspired to go for it and reach for the stars. She has a lot of words of wisdom within this interview.
Who is Rosemary Chileshe?
Hi Pamela!! Thank you for this interview “Rosemary Chileshe” is a blessed and highly favoured woman of many dimensions in the circles of Faith (New Apostolic Christian), Property (Surveyor), Beauty / Fashion (Zambia’s Former Beauty Queen and Catwalk Model), Charity (Roc Foundation’s Co-Founder & Ambassador of Manchester Aid for Children and All Star Kids Charity) & Media (Brand behind “On The Couch With Rosemary”)
The last time we spoke, you were about to set up ROC foundation to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS in Africa. Can you tell us a little about ROC and how effective you have been since the last time we spoke?
The Roc Foundation is an ongoing project. The creation of it in terms of what is stands for is already set in stone. Our aim is to work with two existing charities in any given year, one in Zambia (as both Founders are from the motherland) and one in the UK (as this is currently our base). Since the last time we spoke, we invested a lot of time in ensuring the charities we were looking at were fully vetted out in terms of; are they registered? Are they transparent? Do they do what they publicly campaign for it? It has been quite a lengthy process but we do not want to link what we are doing with any projects not set up properly and in turn we want to ensure we are properly set up too, so we are ongoing.
What were some of the challenges that you faced setting up ROC?
First of all, challenges for us have been in how we set / register ourselves; as a charity? But are we? No, as a foundation.. in what capacity? What we know for certain is we have no desire to request / receive funds in any of our accounts, anyone wishing to donate, we divert them to the appointed charity’s account hence the thorough need to research them properly. Some overall challenges have mainly been linked to short-listing the potential charities and once they have been short-listed and phase two of requesting for specific information such as who and where they are registered with or do they have accounts publicly viewable etc has been a challenging as most people have been operating for years but in their “proper” set up, they are just starting / have not gone that far or they feel it is too intrusive to ask but again our stance is, for us to assist in their targets through campaigning / helping fundraise, we need to know all of that information.
What were some of the triumphs that you've had since we spoke?
Oh quite a blessed few. Just to re-cap from last year as any more years re-winded, I can list a whole page. I was nominated to carry the Olympic Torch, which got me on the Front Cover of the Evening Standard News and a few features thereafter in the same paper, yay me! Through being a member of Virgin Media Pioneers, a brand associated with Sir Richard Branson, I emerged as Pioneer of the Week within the first week of joining and then automatically got in the race to be crowned Pioneer of the Month, which I won. That in itself opened up so many doors for me, attending the Press Launch of Britain’s Got Talent, going to Parliament to discuss the great opportunities of the government endorsing the Youth Investment Fund, attending the Annual IOD – Institute of Directors conference, complimentary entry through Virgin Media Pioneers. Earlier this year I was listed in the Worldwide Who’s’ Who Database as endorsed by Donald Trump Jr. Just recently I added a forth Award to my credentials – UKZambians Excellence Awards – Inspiration of the Year! Shortly after I got notification that I will be honoured with another Award in the Netherlands in November, will announce more once I receive it.
Beyond ROC, I know that you are also a motivational speaker and you penned a book - how did that interest come about? How has the response been?
Motivational speaker, yes definitely but I have not yet finished my book, actually a short book. I have done the draft, have all my material, just need specific allocated time to edit and release it. My interest has always been there. I dream big for I believe I become what I dream / visualise by God’s grace and will. I was always writing motivational articles as a way of answering other people’s questions without them ever feeling the pressure to put them out there and for a while I had some articles published within other people’s magazines such as MIMI and other people’s blogs etc..then I thought, why not publish them under my own brand, these days with self publishing options, all one needs is the real interest, the desire and drive to just get on with it put pen to paper or as “Rosemary” says; put fingers to keyboard and type away.
Who are your greatest inspirations?
My greatest Inspirations are our merciful heavenly father, the lord Jesus, my family, my partner, my friends and frenemies! Everyone plays a vital part in my progression. I am generally inspired by those who try and make use of their blessed talents no matter how big / small and still venture forward regardless of the stumbling blocks.
For many Africans in the Diaspora, they are here with no support network - who do you advice that they look to for inspiration? How do they go about finding mentors?
Wow, amazingly I feel the support out there is endless, maybe not so much as in specific / direct support but in any field, there are unlimited resources online, around you etc, it just takes the person’s dedication to source it and so many free networking events, again it takes the subject person to just decide “I want this” and to start the ground work, research and approach. For you to decide you want to be in a certain group or at a certain level, it starts with self –drive. No one can fulfill your dreams but yourself and for you to know where to seek the assistance from, you need to know the basic steps in getting to that point. For me mentors are everywhere and need to be different for various aspects of “you”, who can be amongst family, work colleagues, brothers and sisters in faith etc. The key wisdom to note however is that you need to choose them wisely as not everyone addressing themselves as your mentor are really for you.
I am very proud of all that you've achieved since the last time we spoke from winning Ms. Zambia, setting up ROC and actually setting up your own real estate firm and so much more. What advice will you give Africans in the Diaspora in terms of money and real estate?
Thank you for your compliments but surprise, surprise, I feel I am just starting and making sure my foundation base is solid enough to withhold / sustain the next levels. My advice to everyone is; know what you are getting into it. Be self educated and do your research. They are so many people out their trading in Real Estate as “experts” and equally they are many newbies unaware of what deals they are signing up to etc.. My suggestion is, like in any industry, do not rely 100% on someone else’s direction, that is theirs which they have tried and tested in line with themselves, yours will be different, so take time out to research areas you are interested in and do not dismiss your initial instincts.
What advice will you give young women about pursuing their dreams here in the Diaspora?
Simply, there is no better time to start, you just need to start and keep going. If you believe in your dreams / projects 100%, many others will do too, before you have even started. Take courage in knowing that your biggest critic is really yourself. Most people will judge and try and divert your positive attention, entertain them but continue venturing forward. You will fail and equally succeed so celebrate all phases in your progress, even through tears when things go wrong, that is ok so long as you keep going. It is better for you to keep going at a slow pace to ensure you are covering your correct bases than at quick speed and miss out most key things all for the sake of showing the “audience” that you are doing what you said you would do. The dream is yours so work only on your timescale in line with God’s will.
How do you draw a balance? What do you do for fun?
I ensure I really have a time out. I see no point at all in pushing yourself to the ground only to be so frail mentally, physically and emotionally that you miss out on enjoying the fruits of your hard labour. I allocate specific time for certain aspects of my blessed life. If I confirm to doing all tasks Property related for the week days of whichever month, that is all I will do, anything else which may come up in another field of my interest, say Fashion, I will need to say “thank you, perhaps on a Saturday?” and if not, “oh well, it was not meant to be then” for fun, everything I do I make it fun, even when working, I create elements of fun and enjoyment in there, you are the product of your environment. I love chilling in with Popcorn and Movies, dancing / socialising in chilled out settings where you have music in the background, enough volume to hear, get up and dance to and equally low volume, enough to hold a conversation full of giggles.
What next for Rosemary Chileshe?
I am not 100% sure, excited to find out though! I work with God’s direction and timescales. I have Swanilenga Group Ltd to keep me busy, in great productive mischief whist dreaming up and bringing up new projects all at the right time in all areas of my interest and expertise; Property, Charity, Fashion, Media, Faith etc.. Right now I am editing my 50 2 Is project; which is simply profiling 50 International and Inspirational People. I have great profiles confirmed and very much looking forward to sharing their inspirational journeys.
Many thanks Pamela for this follow up Interview.
Photographer – Albert St Clair
MUA – Karen Salandy for K Bell
Hair Stylist – B Jablonska
Model – Rosemary Chileshe-Ellis
Theme – The Beauty of Enchanted Woods
Last Updated ( Sunday, 15 July 2012 22:28 )