People and Places by Tamela Ceasar

ESTHER ALADE – Sharing Nigerian culture with the world via food

Every woman remembers her days as a young girl, daydreaming about her perfect career. Whether it was by turning your comb into a mic and imagining you were a singer, or caring for your dollies as though you were a nurse, you pictured yourself in your perfect job. For OHTV’s new international Naija Bites presenter, Esther Alade, her childhood daydreams have become a reality.

Esther Alade’s passion for entertainment began at the young age of seven years old. “Growing up with my siblings, we all used to perform for my father’s guests during Christmas parties and special events,” she shared. “I am naturally a very inquisitive person, and I’ve always had the dream of being a presenter.”

After enrolling on a presenting course in 2008, at a time when Esther wanted to make the transition from working within investment banking to breaking into media as a presenter, opportunities opened up and her career in presenting began. “I prayed to God to lead the way, and the rest is history. I received a phone call from the producers of Naija Bites; they were looking for a new presenter, and my name kept coming up! It was funny because about a year before the call, friends had said that they could see me presenting the show.”

Starting off as a pilot Nigerian cooking show for OHTV in 2011, Naija Bites came about as a result of producers identifying a need for a cooking show on the TV network. Initially being recorded as a series, the show was unfortunately cut in 2012. With producers recognising that the show needed a re-vamp, changes were made and the show was back on the air in 2013.

Joining the OHTV network in 2013, Esther was featured as the new fresh-faced presenter for Naija Bites during seasons five and six, which were filmed in Los Angeles (LA). Being part of the new format, which features celebrity guests unfamiliar with Nigerian cuisine, has proved to be a winning combination.

Esther believes that Naija Bites goes beyond entertainment, and is closer to a cultural and educational experience. She explained, “The show has helped to showcase Nigerian food and its culture in a positive light, especially to the American audience. It inspires our audience because we also focus on our guests and their personal experiences yet, at the same time, giving them knowledge about Nigerian culture and cuisine. Whilst in LA, I was personally able to educate some of our guests on the culture of Nigeria, its people, and how it is being a Nigerian myself.”

With projects in the pipeline and running her own social networking event, ‘Corporate Afrika’, Esther explains that her faith reminds her that she serves a faithful God. “He is the God of possibilities. I am a living testimony of God’s capability. My work enables me to spread the Good News and share His love.”

With her love of presenting, travelling and meeting new people, this jet-setting presenter is destined for higher heights! Watch this space!

Visit for more details about Naija Bites. Follow Esther on Twitter @estheralade

NATALIE CLUE – Representing women of colour in the beauty business

Natalie Clue

Have you ever been told that if you find fault with something, then you need to do something about it? Former beauty marketer, Natalie Clue, was fed up with the lack of coverage and representation for women of colour in the British mainstream media, and decided that something needed to be done. Believing that the woman of colour needed to be celebrated and acknowledged in her entirety, Natalie founded Beauty Pulse London and Keziah CONNECTIONS – two of the biggest UK platforms for Black beauty, business and networking.

Graduating with a degree in Human Genetics, Natalie always had a passion for the human make up. After leaving university and stepping into a career in the beauty industry, Natalie was in her element. “I’ve worked in the industry for 10 years and I love it, but I became concerned with the lack of representation of women who looked like me in the mainstream media,” says Natalie. Born and bred in Leicester, Natalie is proud to call Britain her home, and is equally proud of her Jamaican background. “I love being a blend of these rich heritages that make me who I am.”

In 2012, Natalie successfully created Beauty Pulse London, a niche blog which has led her to become a spokesperson for beauty and business news for the contemporary and cosmopolitan British woman of colour. ‘Black. British. Beautiful. Proud.’ is the strapline for her blog, and Natalie wanted it to reflect every aspect of a BME woman’s lifestyle.

Speaking at the 2013 and 2014 Woman of The World Festival, and recently being appointed as Chair for the newly established BME Alumni Network, Natalie has delivered the topic of beauty for the woman of colour, to wide and diverse audiences, “I have had the privilege to serve this community by providing a space to champion and being a voice for women of colour, and with this have come many opportunities to impact the British beauty scene. Since starting my blog, beauty companies are open to hearing the needs of women of colour like myself,” she says.

Describing herself as gregarious, passionate and focused, Natalie observed the popularity that her ‘Mind Your Own Business’ page on her blog, was receiving and so created an offline networking organisation for enterprising and inspirational women called Keziah CONNECTIONS in 2013. Representing beauty, equality and legacy, and unashamedly naming her company after Job’s second daughter in the Bible, Natalie is bold about her faith, “I feel no need to conceal this in any way. My faith has been an integral part to everything that I have done.”

Not being afraid to challenge the status quo or make a mark as a Christian woman, Natalie’s business beliefs are clear, “My ethos is clear: lasting change will only come about through open and candid dialogue and collaboration. When this happens, everyone is a winner – the customer, the beauty companies and the British beauty industry as a whole!”

Visit and for more details. Follow on Twitter @beautypulse_ldn.

ANDREW SERCOMBE – Transforming lives through coaching

Andrew Sercombe

‘Are you living the life you are proud to own?’ Personal development specialist and author, Andrew Sercombe, believes that everyone’s answer should be yes. With a passion for helping people to overcome hindrances, find their passions and live the life they are proud to own, Andrew Sercombe is making a noticeable difference in the lives of people everywhere, one day at a time.

Developing an innate ability for coaching in his teens, Andrew Sercombe’s purpose and passion became clear very early on. “From my high school years I’ve been coaching – long before the concept was around, actually. Later, as a design teacher and then as a pastor, I was committed to helping people live better and more rewarding lives. Now, as a professional personal development specialist, I coach pretty much every day,” explained Andrew.

Founding his Powerchange company in 2000, Andrew has been running a highly successful mobile coaching organisation for 15 years; things were not always this way, however. “I started coaching professionally several years before that, when we were going through a really difficult time and our family were on government support. This was a huge motivation for me. I had two children at university and one in sixth form, so I had to find a market for my skills in order to pay the bills and eat; it was exceptionally motivating!” Andrew explains.

Being a prime example of someone using his or her skills and passions to live a more rewarding life, Andrew’s motivation springs from his deep-seated faith. “It is the root. The core of my world view and concepts of what it is to be a human being on this earth.”

Having been coached for 35 years, and now being a coach and personal development specialist for his own company, Andrew explains how coaching changed his life. “My first coaching session was in Sussex at six in the morning, for two hours on a Monday. The second was at six the following Monday morning, and so on for the next four years. It was an amazing time. No notes, just coaching conversation. I wouldn’t be where I am today, if I hadn’t done it.”

A self-proclaimed OCD of coaching, Andrew states how Powerchange stands apart from the rest. “Most coaching is success and performance-based. If a house has cracks on a wall, it is possible to patch up or even rebuild the wall. With Powerchange, we look at the depth of the foundation. There is no point in rebuilding if the foundations aren’t right.” Believing that coaching would benefit society in a huge way, and seeing how Powerchange had positively affected 51,00 residents of a South African township, Andrew wants coaching to become accessible to everyone. “I’d like a Powerchange coach in every street and community. Every parent and child should be coached, and coaching should be taught in school along with entrepreneurism. It would transform the world and inspire people to live the life they are proud to own.”

Visit for more details. Follow on Twitter @andrewsercombe.

Tamala Ceasar is a journalist, blogger and author of children’s book, ‘Spaghetti and Cheese, Please!’  Follow on Twitter @mz_positivi_t

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