Media personality Fikile “Fix” Moeti on becoming a social entrepreneur
Social entrepreneur Fikile "Fix" Moeti, the co-founder of Affirmations for the African Child, talks of her new venture.
Tell us about yourself
I am a radio and TV personality turned social entrepreneur. I have been in the broadcasting industry for over 10 years, starting my career at 19 as an MTV VJ and content producer, and later becoming a household name on daytime radio at 5FM. It’s only been six months since I’ve retired from radio, but I am so grateful for the journey I am on now. I have been running my organisation, the Fix Scholarship, for the past nine years. This is a registered non-profit company that focuses on providing educational opportunities to women entrepreneurs who have a positive impact on their community.
What inspired the journey into making affirmation cards specifically for African kids?
Two years ago, I wanted to create positive affirmations cards for kids. I am deeply passionate about mental health and, having gone through absolute trauma while I was pregnant and when my son was born four years ago, I wanted to find a healing tool where he and I could connect and communicate. In essence, as clinical psychologist Dr Shefali Tsabary puts it, it is “parenting consciously”. Just before we went into lockdown I reached out to one of our Fix Scholar alumni, Basheera Surty, who is an occupational therapist. She runs an awesome enterprise, Diketo Inclusive Education, which deals with early childhood development, focusing on inclusion and special needs. I knew she would be the perfect partner for this venture and I’m proud to announce that we launched Affirmations for the African Child in April 2021.
What are affirmation cards?
Affirmations for the African Child is a set of 30 cards for children of all ages highlighting each child’s uniqueness, encouraging them to accept themselves and others, improving self-esteem, and building positive beliefs about the world they are in. They ultimately serve as a therapy, bonding, and healing tool for kids, families, classes, clinics, and therapists. The cards were illustrated by 13-year-old Madeeha Kair, and celebrate the diversity of children across the African continent and children who are differently-abled. The cards are available in English and Braille.
What made you realise this could be a business?
This project was inspired by my four-year-old son, so the impact came before the income. I am one of many mothers who have experienced trauma during pregnancy and post-pregnancy. The traumatic impact on us and our children can be damaging if there aren’t early interventions. Therapy is also only available to a certain economic group of citizens.
Therefore, our goal with this enterprise is to make these cards accessible to every African child worldwide who needs to know that they are enough. Basheera and I are social entrepreneurs at heart, and so we fix problems that we see within our communities. The mental health and wellbeing of our kids is always crucial.
Why is it important to look after children’s mental health?
Low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, bullying, teenage suicides, teenage pregnancies, abuse, and unnecessary stigma, among many others, are often a direct response to what is happening in a child’s environment. Our kids need our support and a safe space to speak up about what they are feeling and experiencing.
What impact do you hope this will have?
I believe that the way children speak about themselves and the way they are spoken to become the blueprint for how they view themselves and what they do in life. I have always believed in the theory of conscious parenting, which has a lot to do with our inner child that we as parents project onto our kids. The intention of these cards is just to pause for a moment, engage with your little ones, listen to them, and validate them.
What challenges have you faced?
Definitely, the printing — the printing of Braille proved more difficult than we thought, but through a collaborative effort with Blind SA we were able to work around these hurdles. This makes our cards the first affirmation cards for kids that feature Braille.
What does the future look like?
Expect more merchandise products, more partnerships on the African continent, more African languages, and more access to these beautiful cards for kids who really need them.
This article first appeared in the September 2021 print edition of S Mag.
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