Head of marketing and finance, Azimuth/Easy Solar
‘Every time I think of all the amazing, strong individuals who have fought, bled and died for my civil liberties, I know I can’t afford to cower or bow down in fear. The world is my oyster because of their sacrifices, and I honor their struggle when I embrace my privilege of having the freedom to be whoever I choose to be.”
With such a strong sense of gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices of those who have come before her, it is no surprise that 26-year-old Nthabiseng Mosia’s professional pursuits are, in many ways, a form of giving back to those less fortunate and unable to benefit from certain socio-economic privileges.
Mosia is currently in charge of both finance and marketing at the start-up she co-founded: Azimuth — known locally as Easy Solar. This social enterprise is “an innovative, leading distributed energy service company that provides consumer financing for solar products to off-grid households and entrepreneurs across Sierra Leone. Azimuth makes clean energy affordable for low- and middle-income consumers by offering solar powered devices on a rent to own financing structure, enabled by pay-as-you-go technology and mobile money,” she explains.
The company’s efforts have been offering something towards solving Sierra Leone citizens’ challenges in accessing clean and affordable energy. It is a country particularly hard-hit by issues of access to energy. While justifiably thrilled by the impact the company has had thus far, Mosia doesn’t turn a blind eye to the fact that a lot still needs to be done with respect to Africa’s development. In particular, it is her wish to see African women of colour develop themselves to greater heights. “There is still so much work to be done in building a world in which successful, intelligent, and courageous black African women are the norm and not the exception. This feeling of being responsible for carrying the torch pushes me to keep going further, and to shatter glass ceilings, no matter how implausibly high they may seem, or how painful the reality is of breaking through them,” shares Mosia.
Mosia has completed a master’s qualification in energy finance and policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where she learnt about innovations in clean energy finance and scalable business models to serve off-grid markets. She attended Columbia on a full ride scholarship supported by the Sainsbury Foundation, maintaining a solid 4.00 GPA while juggling several extracurricular activities during her two years in New York, including a teaching assistant post in economics.
— Simphiwe Rens