To make a real difference in the market, whatever you send out has to matter to two parties: your business and your client. As a business, you espouse certain values based your unique value proposition to the market. If you’d like to know more about this, kindly refer to my previous post here.
Because examples really help to drive the point home, I’d like you to imagine you own a fashion business that sells beautiful wedding gowns. You’d need to define how you are better than the rest in the market in your exact field. Perhaps your collection has unique locally-made pieces and as a brand you aim to support local designers while catering to brides’ needs. Next, you’d need to establish what your clients’ real need is. Perhaps your client is mostly young middle-income women between 25 to 40 who want to look stylish at their wedding without breaking the bank. Their need therefore, is to look stylish at an affordable price. Let’s assume you’ve established that their definition of affordable and yours are the same and you can actually provide your stylish gowns at that price while making a great profit. That’s your point of intersection. Much as you also aim to support local designers, that may not be a direct point of concern for your clients and therefore it will act a bonus. Your main focus in your marketing efforts should therefore be to communicate clearly to your client that you are affordable and stylish. It does not mean that your other values and qualities as a business do not matter. In fact, they may even be very important to your target clients. In this particular example given, I’m simply making an assumption for the sake of illustration.
I hope the example has helped to drive the point home. Think very carefully about the intersection between your business values and your clients’ needs. It will make a real difference. See you next time. I’ll leave you with this video below. Enjoy.
(The feature image was taken at an EABC conference I attended in 2017.)
I’m subscribed to John-Paul Iwuoha’s emails. He is the founder of Smallstarter Africa whose website link I will share at the end of this post. I recommend that every entrepreneur follow this website and subscribe to their mailing list. You will learn a lot!
One of the attitudes he suggests an entrepreneur should have is a “win or learn” attitude. He says there is no losing, only winning and learning. I agree with this and I know firsthand what this means.
When you put yourself out into any situation, you take the risk of being accepted or rejected. I regularly apply for many growth programs for both personal and business growth. Sometimes I get accepted and other times, I get rejected. But one thing is certain – I learn something new about myself and my business every single time I apply. The questions asked in the applications and the interviews spur me to think of new ways to solve existing problems and further improve or highlight strengths.
Earlier this year I was shortlisted for the Mandela Washington Fellowship. That in itself was an achievement because about three years ago I applied and wasn’t even shortlisted. This showed me that growth has happened since the last time I applied. I walked into the interview room at the embassy confident having revised and prepared. The first question landed like a hammer on my head though. It shook my confidence almost immediately. I can’t remember my answer but I did my best to answer as best as I could in that frame of mind. Throughout the rest of the interview, I kept on feeling rises and falls. I know I answered some questions well but I also know I truly did terribly in others. The interview brought all the great, good, bad and ugly out into the light. Bit by bit I could see the things I had done well and also the things I was failing at in the business at that point.
I didn’t get in for the fellowship but that interview pushed and stretched me in so many ways. The positive results will stretch on for a long time and the solutions I am working on in the business right now will leave a lasting impact. I learnt.
I have also applied for other programs and been accepted such as the British Council Creative Enterprise Program happening this week. I can’t wait to soak in all the knowledge and chew on it so that I can apply it to the business and pass on what I have acquired to others too.
As an artist, my work is subject to people’s opinions and comments quite often. In addition to being a fashion designer; I design buildings (architecture); I write and perform poetry and sing. I have a few song melodies and original compositions sitting idle gathering dust but I will dust them up soon and show them to the world because kept to myself, my work has no power to impact any one.
We must keep putting ourselves, and our work out there. We must keep sharing and looking for growth. Some people will applaud us while others will frown at us. Not everyone will appreciate what you do, and not everyone is supposed to anyway! Everyone has different tastes and preferences. Every program has its guidelines and requirements. Every client has different needs.
We are not entirely responsible for the reception of our work because even when we do our best to present it in the best light, the other party is always a variable. They come into the equation with their own backgrounds and experiences. We are only responsible for the way we present our work and ourselves. We are responsible too for our own perspectives and the way they shape our growth.
So the next time you face rejection, take no offense. There is no losing, only winning and learning.
We’ve arrived at our final installment of Noeline’s story. There is even more to learn in this final segment. If you missed the first two, you can read them here and here for the first and second part respectively. Enjoy reading today’s post.
Along the growth path of your different initiatives, what are some of the challenges you’ve experienced?
“The biggest challenge was funding. It’s tough coming from the security of a paycheck to figuring out how to make it work. As a social entrepreneur, you are driven by the passion. You want to make a difference but then you realize it’s going to take money to run the venture. In the early stages, it’s really difficult to secure funding especially for purely local startups where you don’t have links to the US…or any other country. Secondly, you don’t have any record they can track for impact so it’s hard because possible funders are always asking for impact. So it becomes hard for you to prove yourself in that early stage. It does get better with time though.
Getting the kind of staff you need is also a challenge. You end up having to outsource many things because you don’t have the money to hire full-time people. This affects the quality.
In addition, the workload is really crazy. In my first year, I was doing jobs for like six people. You’re the accountant, the manager, the PRO, the HRO…yeah, so that was a very big challenge for me. The bigger challenge was in that initial start up phase. I’d say for people who are starting out that you just have to hang in there. The start is rough but it gets better with time.”
What was your lowest moment during the period of running your businesses and is there a point you wanted to give up?
She laughs at this point as she tells me there was not one low moment but plural – moments.
“There are moments I cried my eyes out. There are times I’d wait for all my staff to go and I’d just stay behind. I was frustrated. You see how hard your people work and you want to offer them better remuneration but you can’t and it kind of nudges you. They were really committed and I wasn’t able to offer them better money. Those were frustrating moments. And yes there were moments when I literally wanted to give up.
I got through those moments first, by speaking up. I learnt to speak up and ask for help and that’s where I’ll say that it’s important to have mentors and people that believe in you and also for me, the board that I have are not just people with profiles but they are my friends too. So I learnt to fall back to the support system I had. I once called a meeting and told my board I was done. They empathized with me and also appreciated what I wasn’t seeing and helped me see how much positive work I had already done. In addition, they committed and said they were sticking there with me and did all they could to help me. That helped me to cast my burden. You don’t have to carry it alone. I actually met Moses Mukisa in one of those times when I had a burnout. He sat me down and gave me a serious talk and told me I couldn’t live my life like that. He also gave me some useful advice and new angles for the business as well as useful links and contacts of people who could help. So that helped.
Furthermore prayer helped. When I was reading about kingdom business, I learnt the concept of having God as your CEO and business partner whereby I would involve God actively in the business. In that process, some ideas were birthed in prayer and He’d impress it on my heart to go approach some people and they actually helped. So, having a support system and prayer have helped a lot.”
At this point, I was amazed by all the knowledge I had gleaned. It appears to me she has already achieved quite a lot. I am curious to find out what she’s cooking for the next steps in her life.
What are your future goals, dreams and plans?
“I aspire to become a CEO of a group of companies. One of the things I have discovered about myself is I am a starter. I have the grace to start things. So I see myself starting many companies and then training and equipping people to run these different companies.
In addition to this, one of my goals is to empower 10,000 startups.
My dream for Kyusa is that it becomes an international model which can be used anywhere and by anyone. So we can create tool kits for startups whereby one can log in and have a self-paced program which an individual can implement. That’s one of my dreams; to see what we do become a model that can run online and can be replicated in different regions.
One of my personal ambitions is to have written 60 books by the time I am sixty years. One of the people who have inspired me to write is Mike Maddock. I found close to 500 books of his and his writing model is to use smaller books. Some are as small as 30 pages but they give one a lot to think about. You have young people that are turned off by big books but they are desperate for information so I want to create 60 books that anyone can pick up and read.
In addition to this, finally, I want to travel the world.”
As I wound up this interview down, there were only three more things I wanted to ask.
What’s your personal mission statement?
“To empower people to identify their life purpose and turn their passions into skills for fruitful living”
Any favourite quotes?
“If you can envision it, you can achieve it.”
“As a man thinks, so is he.”
“If you believe it, you can do it.”
“The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately.”
Your most impactful books?
As a Man Thinks by James Allen, In Pursuit of Purpose by Myles Munroe, Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and Little Black Book for Stunning Success by Robin Sharma
I hope you’ve enjoyed sitting at Noeline’s table and soaking in her journey and lessons to learn.
Noeline is an author, writer, motivational speaker, life coach, career mentor, trainer, social entrepreneur and business development consultant.
It was a cloudy and threatening-to-rain day when I made my way to Kalerwe to the Kyusa offices. Noeline’s directions were precise to the dot and I got to the right office without any hiccups. Okay well, almost no hiccups. I almost went toward the wrong door until I spotted the Kyusa poster on the first door. Her welcome was warm. She sat next to an open window that showed an overgrown wild bush in the neighbouring plot. I had looked forward with anticipation to chatting with this vibrant young lady. Seated opposite her, I started asking her some questions. Her answers flowed like a river and her joyous laughter was plentiful.
Tell us a bit about your background and early childhood
“I was born in Jinja, then we relocated. I grew up in old Kampala for the biggest part of my life. It was an urban slum community and quite an experience because from a young age I got to see people hustle. I saw the challenges that people go through, the suffering and pain, the vulnerability and young girls becoming pregnant and eloping. That is where my connection comes from when it comes to community work because these are things I’ve seen and experienced. It is not something I read and researched about.
I was very sickly growing up so I had my own dynamic. On one side I was very fragile while on another side I was very adventurous so the combination was a big twist for many people. You either knew one side or the other side so my mum would go to school and argue how her daughter is purely innocent and the teachers would look at her with a you-have-no-idea-what-your-daughter-can-do look. I was quiet and reserved yet quite naughty. You’d walk into class and think ‘it can’t be her’ and yet everything tells you ‘it must be her’.” She laughed.
“Also, because I was sickly, I was exempted from many things such as punishment and the hard work. So at some point I took the same laissez faire attitude with my academics. I knew that even if I flunked, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. This went on until either P.5 or P.6, when I was forced to repeat a class and that was a wake up call for me.
I was taller than most of the people in my class so it was on that basis that my sister insisted I don’t repeat because it would kill my esteem. She advocated for me to change schools. At that time, I was in Mengo primary and I was moved to Bat Valley primary. It was at that point that I woke up and improved my academics. I wanted to prove myself and I realized that if I just put in a little effort, I’d actually get stuff done. I was very good with the Arts. Mathematics was my biggest challenge, (laughs) I guess still is, but I’ve come a long way.
For secondary I was put in Wanyange boarding school and that was a whole other experience because being sickly, away from home and having been pampered all my life, there I was. I had cousins in higher classes who watched out for me but that was my transition into independence, just learning to be able to stand. At first I became a bully then I outgrew it. I would get people to do stuff for me. Then I found my way into a leadership space though sadly at first, I used that to still get people to do stuff for me. Then I think it’s in my A level that I got to really serve and not to just get people to do stuff for me.”
Curious, I ask her what sparked that urge to change and use leadership for real service.
“I’d grown up in church all my life but it’s at that point that I became really serious with God. It was during my senior 4 transition. My mum fell sick and it’s in that moment that my faith meant more to me than anything. By the time I got to A-level I was really grounded and that’s what changed my perspective. I’m now a leader not to get privileges but basically to empower and mentor other people. I was a head girl and head of scripture union fellowship in my A-levels.”
How did your journey proceed after high school?
“After I did my high school, I passed and was admitted to university as a private student. I was super excited. However, I realized I wasn’t able to go to university. Mum was sick and going through chemotherapy. There was no money for university. I was brought to a place where I had to drop out not because I was daft or I didn’t want to study but because of matters out of my control. So that put me on a totally different path. To build my first CV, I did a number of online courses and that’s how I got a job which gave me formal training.”
What inspired you to get up and move forward from that discouragement of not being able to go to university?
“During that time I spent a lot of time with my mum in hospital taking care of her. Cancer, as a disease in Uganda was only starting to get on the rise and the perception toward it was similar to that of AIDS whereby it was assumed that when you get it, you die. But interestingly, my mum refused to die and it is something she verbalized. She said ‘I refuse to die’ and it would annoy me like crazy because I thought that it was her fate due to the general perception. A year later my mum actually pulled through and she is one of those cancer survivors that has no side effects…for me that was a miracle and the fact that she said she refused to die and that she needed to see her grand children, it was proof that her will kept her alive. So that’s where I picked the will to push for my dreams, to know that no matter where you are, you can actually push against the tides. I had seen her practically do it.
I had wanted to be a journalist or lawyer so at that point I asked myself what it was about those two professions that I loved. I realized it was that I wanted to speak for the vulnerable and bring justice in some way. So I started reading very wide and realized I was more interested in humanities and that took shape for me. I hate it when people are marginalized and I want to do my part to make a difference everyday.”
So how and when did you start the different initiatives that you run and what was the progression from one to the other? Did it all happen at once?
“Definitely not all at once. My very first initiative was Kyusa which I started in 2014. I left my last formal employment in 2012 and took a gap year in 2013 where I got a scholarship to go to India and do a course in social entrepreneurship. That helped shape the idea of what I wanted to do and this led to the launch of Kyusa, my first organization that I started from scratch. It’s been an experience and it was my first baby.
In 2015, I started getting offers from people who wanted me to do consultancy or training for them that didn’t fit within the Kyusa framework. This led to the birth of Newen consults, a company I started in partnership with a friend. Newen Consults does personal and business development consulting. Kyusa still remained my main focus though.
Around that time, I was mentoring and coaching young women and there a was period when seven women approached me for personalized coaching and mentoring around the same time. I knew that it would be a stretch for me. I prayed about it and that gave me the idea to do group mentoring. After that group mentoring pilot, there were people on the wait list already. This gave birth to the New Generations Mentoring program. This program was branded under Newen Consults. This has been running since 2016 and now we are in the fifth cohort. It’s been an amazing journey.
While doing business consultation, one of the things that bothered me was how there was little space for faith as a woman within the different business transactions. It was this that led me to read and research about “Kingdom Business” and interestingly there was not so much information about it. I had questions like at what point do I tithe as the business? At what point do I uphold my faith in business? Is there room for it because I can’t be one person and then another when it comes to business. So for a year we had this whatsapp group where we basically discussed business as women. We talked about tithe, prayer in business, sharing the gospel with workmates and so on. The network itself just grew over time. It’s not something that I woke up and decided to do. However, because I had started the initiative, I came on board as the founding president. We structured and registered it as the Christian Women’s Entrepreneurship Network and put in place a committee that runs it. This took effect in 2017.
Next in 2017 when I wanted to do my book launch for Find Your Significance, I published my book under Newen consults and now in addition, we offer this service as well as nurturing and training upcoming young authors and helping them launch their books.”
I had more questions and there is much more wisdom to be gleaned from Noeline. Let’s drink in this knowledge together slowly and fully. The second part of this interview will be published next Sunday on this same blog.
I was sitting across my mentor when she said to me, “It takes time”.
She was referring to growing a business. It takes time to nurture it before it can produce lasting fruit. Consistency in the market place builds trust in your business, when people see that you continue to exist and progress year in year out. Eventually, you begin to attract more clientele and start to thrive. Trust is seldom built instantly.
At that moment though, “it takes time” was not what I wanted to hear because I was exhausted. And yet, strangely, lying in those three words, I found comfort and reassurance. I found a calmness of mind and a call to patience that settled my heart.
When starting any venture, it’s important to recognize that you are entering a new realm of experiences. As such, you will need the ingredient of patience with both yourself and your venture.
Foundations Depending on the venture you are building, take some time to build the appropriate foundations you need. They will serve as an anchor when times get tough. More importantly, good foundations are a consistent solid base upon which everything else stands. Get the right people around you and on your team. Seek out the right life-giving ideas and plans to get you on the right path.
Flexibility of Design There is always room to adjust something that you may have got wrong previously, especially in the initial stages of your venture. Pace yourself. It’s your venture. Just like design, which is fluid in nature and goes backwards and forwards during the process, you can adjust the plan and activities as you go along.
Commitment to the Journey There is no way to over-emphasize a commitment to the journey. Be in it for the long haul. Play the long game and don’t be distracted by short-term and temporary wins or loses. Celebrate the short wins but keep moving forward, not allowing them to puff you up with pride. Learn from the loses and pick yourself up very quickly and keep moving onward and forward. I have addressed the importance of the journey in better detail in The Process Matters .
Know this: most things that are worth a lot will require their due labour. The value of hard, smart and persistent work cannot be underestimated. Most people that eventually succeed do so not because they are the most brilliant but because they applied persistence and patience over a certain period of time while traversing different challenges. Victory usually comes after a fairly won battle.
When I established The House of Kea, I was stepping into new territory. I have come a long way. I am not where I want to be but I am certainly not where I was. My victory will come from learning the lessons due from this season and using them to propel forward. It’s still taking time but there is progress and growth, and that matters most.
So be encouraged, it takes time.
NOTE: Most of the images used on this blog currently, are downloaded from the internet through random searches. Where an image source is not acknowledged, this blog DOES NOT claim ownership of it and we therefore acknowledge alternative ownership. Thank you.
From 14th to 16th of this month, November 2017, I was privileged to be part of the East African Business and Entrepreneurship Conference (EABEC), which took place in Dar es Salaam and was organized by the East African Business Council. I am still mulling over the wealth of knowledge I got from the conference. There was certainly no shortage of intelligent minds and influential people from the private sector as well as government. For a young entrepreneur like me, the harvest was plentiful.
The range of topics discussed, were drawn from the following sectors: Agribusiness, Creative Industries, Textile Industry, Urbanization, E-commerce, Banking and Finance and Health Entrepreneurship, among others. The depth and breadth of these discussions cannot be exhaustively discussed in this post.
I therefore want to focus this post towards one prominent feature of almost all the discussions we held in the conference and that is regional integrationin the EAC.
It was right and fitting that deepening regional integration was the very first topic discussed. This eventually trickled into other subsequent discussions.
Integration on a primary level means combining different entities so that they become one whole. The East African Community, which comprises of 6 member countries currently, aims to achieve integration within the region.
Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko, Secretary General, East African Community said, “Regional Integration is desirable and we can’t do without it. Individually our countries are small and weak but together we can do greater things”.
“East Africa is the most integrated region in Africa but there is still a long way to go,” Mr. Nicholas Nesbitt, MD, IBM Central and East Africa said. Mr. Nicholas’s remarks allude to the fact that we still have a number of challenges to overcome in making integration a stronger reality. Rather than focusing on the challenges though, I would like to emphasize some of the solutions suggested so that we can bridge that “long-way-to-go” gap.
At the forefront of any interaction is trust, the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. As members of the EAC, trust is a seemingly obvious but very vital ingredient.
Mr. Dennis Karera, MD of Kigali Heights, Rwanda said, “We need to trust each other for integration. There is no school for trust and no professor called Trust”.
As we learn to trust each other, there is a need for skills improvement and building of enterprise – initiative and resourcefulness. We need to prove our worth on the regional and global market place with good quality products and services that meet international standards. It’s one way we’ll favourably compete.
This was emphasized by Mr Felix Mosha, MD, IBM Holdings, Tanzania when he said, “Progress is determined by enterprise. People will deal with us because of competence, not pity!”.
Mr. Felix Mosha further said we need to search and identify common problems and provide common solutions. Common capabilities will thereafter be transformed to a common prosperity within the region. He emphasized that debate and disagreements should not deter us from common goals as we work towards a shared vision.
In addition to shared ideologies, other suggestions that arose during the discussions were a free market, free movement of capital, an encouragement of joint ventures, diversifying the manufacturing base, strengthening institutional capacity as well as strengthening research and development.
More to this, we need to have a sense of economic patriotism where we buy East African products and market our products beyond the region too. As one speaker said, “Buy East African, Build East Africa.
Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko mentioned that our potentials are the resources at hand, the large market and young creative population. If we take advantage of our potentials, we can grow East Africa to greater heights. It pleased me that he highlighted creative youth as a major potential. It is upon us as individuals and organizations to take advantage of this great potential at our disposal.
As integration is discussed on a formal and sometimes aloof level, we must question what this means for the ordinary citizen. Does the ordinary citizen understand regional integration and the impacts it will have. I am happy that some entities are attempting to address this and shine a spotlight on this part of the equation. One of these entities is the IIDEA, the Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa. Their tagline is “Integration Made Real for Citizens”. It is a joint initiative between GIZ, the EAC secretariat and the Regional Dialogue Committee.
As a speaker in the Cotton and Textile session, I attended the EABEC as an IIDEA beneficiary having taken part in the fashion incubation program they held in partnership with Culture and Development for East Africa (CDEA) earlier this year. The program I was part of has tangibly impacted my business and me as an individual in terms of broadening my knowledge and networks. To illustrate this, the morning after the conference, I had the opportunity to sit and discuss with one of the Tanzanian beneficiaries of the same program: Shahbaaz Sayeed. We discussed his business and a few strategies to take it further. This was his initiative to reach out to me and our meeting was completely independent of the conference. This simply highlights how there are positive ripple effects of the incubation program.
Integration for the ordinary citizen will have to involve the transformation of mindset. We need to think, know and believe we are East African and not just Kenyan or Tanzanian etc. In an informal conversation with Mr. Adam Zuku, the Chief Executive Officer of TEGAMAT, he emphasized that we need to start by teaching young children that they are East African. This was further reinforced in my mind by another informal conversation with Angelika Farhan from the EABC who said she grew up consciously identifying herself as European much as she is German by nationality.
In one of the formal panel discussions, Mr. Felix Mosha, MD of IBM Holdings, Tanzania said, “Think East African. If we can think East African, we can support each other. Think East African, Act East African, Transform East Africa.”
There is a clear need for us to continually foster being East African and supporting the region as a whole.
In addition, as an artist, I couldn’t help but reflect on the role that the Arts has to play in fostering regional integration. During the first day of the conference, we sang the East African Community anthem. This was a vital element for it signified the unified front we have and are working towards. For me, this is an indication of the impact the Arts can have in creating a positive image in the mindset of citizens of East Africa. We can expand this further into other forms of art and I would like to urge any artist reading this to translate the idea of integration into works of art. I feel that different forms of Art will play the role of bridging the gap between policy makers and the normal ‘ordinary’ citizen.
Like a plate of food with different delicacies, I ate a variety of knowledge at the EABEC. I will continue to let that knowledge impact and change my present and future businesses as I execute what I learnt, for we as the private sector need to actively play our part. There will be no point in the elaborate discourse if it does not translate into real tangible results.
In addition, I join other entrepreneurs in lobbying governments to create a better environment for business. The right infrastructure and favourable policies are key in assisting free and fair trade and investment across borders within the region. In addition, they provide a suitable backbone for innovation to thrive.
We all need to play our part in encouraging a vibrant and unified regional economy within the East African Community. What is your part to play?
This is something I learnt and continue to experience further dimensions of.
We are social beings and regardless of our selfish human natures, we gain more purpose and fulfillment when we go against that self-centered nature, radiating our purpose and reach outwards to our families, friends, communities, nations, continents and the world at large.
For anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit, whether you have a non-profit or for-profit venture, you will do yourself well to remember that it can’t just be about you.
Yes, your business will stand to benefit you too but what impact does your venture have on your potential or current customer? How is your service or product enriching their lives? How can you serve them better and meet their real needs?
Further to this, ask yourself how your venture impacts everyone else who interacts with it, such as your employees/workers and all the other indirect stakeholders within your community.
“Others will view any venture, which has impact beyond the confines of its own walls, positively because of its value.”
A venture that satisfies people’s needs becomes naturally sustainable because people have a stake in the business. They become invested in the venture’s success and wish it well. Most importantly, they put their money where their mouths are. Naturally, there will be financial evidence to prove that the venture satisfies their needs. Think about mobile money, it serves millions of people across East Africa and Africa at large. If mobile money services across East Africa broke down, there would be an instant impact felt by the everyday individual and a call by the masses to rectify the problem.
Your business may not be the mobile money kind that is meant for everybody. Perhaps it’s a niche business for a specific market. That’s okay. Still, it must serve a need. When we speak of need, sometimes people assume basic needs such as water, electricity and basic food. However, when I speak of a need, I am including perceived needs too. Luxury goods fall within the perceived needs bracket whereby those products are satisfying a need for a certain class of people. Evaluate your own venture therefore and figure out what need you are satisfying and how uniquely you are serving that need.
On the flip side though, it’s not guaranteed that everyone will view your venture positively. Negative competition and naysayers always exist.
However, your increased and obvious value to others will be a safety net, even from competition and naysayers.
It is always about the other person – the customer. Seek to serve your clients better and be the best they know at that service.
Keep succeeding, growing and sharing.
NOTE: Most of the images used on this blog currently, are downloaded from the internet through random searches. Where an image source is not acknowledged, this blog DOES NOT claim ownership of it and we therefore acknowledge alternative ownership. Thank you.