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Southern Africans Prepare to Take Bite of American Dream

A four-day re-union weekend for southern Africans living in the United States ended with a business networking event in Silver Spring, Maryland, on Monday with human resources expert, Mercy Chogugudza, advising participants to take the lead in promoting themselves and their businesses.

Addressing delegates at a networking and business forum meeting held at the end of a four-day re-union weekend that was organised by the Southern African Community USA (SACU), human resources expert, Mercy Chogugudza, told the southern Africans that America is the land of opportunities and that they too can make it.

But she said there was need for the southern Africans to change the way they market themselves and learn to do issues the American and International way.

She stressed the importance of branding in allowing them to penetrate the U.S. and international corporate world.

Chogugudza told delegates from the 15 southern African countries that make up SACU not to be afraid of self-promoting.

SACU, a non-profit organisation, was launched last year to bring together southern Africans and their friends in annual social and business activities.

This was SACU’s first business networking event. It ran under the theme “Building Community And Developing Essential Life Skills.”

Chogugudza advised participants to change their mindsets, adding that most Africans are not always comfortable to brag about their skills or businesses as is required by today’s corporate world.

"Some of the participants at the business meeting were surprised to learn that it is okay to self-promote and to rebrand yourself to suit the particular business opportunity or job you are after," said Chogugudza, noting that the networking event gave southern Africans an opportunity to also network within themselves before venturing out.

One of the founding members of SACU, Mrs Cassandra Sibanda Guni, said her organisation was pleased with the first business networking event.

She said more activities are on the way to promote Southern Africans and their businesses in the United States.

Mrs. Chogugudza said Southern Africans have the capacity to make it in the United States’ corporate world.

All that is needed, she said, is reinforcement and encouragement to self-promote as is required in today’s job and business market.