~ Keep discovering but know that You are enough and important. Believe in You.~


Nelima Otipa is a data storyteller. She is a Data and Project Manager at Nexleaf Analytics. She has extensive experience in research, monitoring, evaluation and project management across initiatives in health (reproductive, maternal and children), HIV and non-communicable diseases. Combining analytical data and technology, Nelima shares stories, guiding decision making and creating change, one statistic at a time.

Entrepreneur ~ What’s your definition?

“An entrepreneur is a dreamer and creator. They action their ideas to life, consistently nurturing it to make it thrive.”

Characteristic of an Entrepreneur – Your top 3

Purpose ~ “When you have a purpose, you are intentional about everything”, says Nelima. She firmly believes in having a goal as a starting point as you operate from a level where nothing is guaranteed. Passion ~ She refers to this as the song you sing throughout every cell in your body. Singing it daily, it becomes a meditation, a dream and soon, a manifestation of solutions. Passion is also the fuel to keep going during cloudy days. Finally, she says, be curious ~ “An entrepreneur should have their ears so close to the ground that they can hear what people are saying, including those that are unsaid.” Curiosity is an excellent motivation to explore, learn and action, leaving no stones unturned in the quest for discovery.  A perfectionist in her past, Nelima soon realised about analysis paralysis. She says, “the more you know, the more you realise you don’t know. So, waiting till you figure it all out does not help. It’s best to find a balance between preparation and action.”

Entrepreneurship style – work with the right talents and lead with empathy

Nelima emphasises getting the right talent as it is the first step for success, innovation and growth. She encourages leadership with empathy to invite a stream of feedback and accountability that creates a progressive workforce.

Thrive in variety

Equating balance with her body’s need for different food, minerals and exercise, Nelima draws on motivation in various avenues.  She is energised by people and their stories. Nelima fills her cup by listening to the narration of everyday life, of tasks, often categorised as mundane or routine. Unfortunately, she says, “regular people feel that they are not enough and shy away from sharing their stories. They look for grandeur things when in fact, the ideas that change the world are simple. There is extraordinary in kindness, empathy, consistency, self-belief and the sheer boldness to get out of bed and show up.” Nelima also enjoys podcasts, which she listens to during her commute to work and emulates strategies from role models, which she says are critical, especially when navigating unchartered waters. “They give you pointers and show you that it’s possible,” she explains.

What’s the best advice you have received? 

“Start. Just start! Have the courage and the audacity to make changes. Balance preparation and action.” 

How do you pick yourself up from a not-so-great day? 

“I like naming things, to know what is happening to me and my emotions. So, when I haven’t had a good day, I ask myself, what went wrong? Sometimes I feel like I haven’t accomplished as much as I wanted, and sometimes, it was just boredom. Next, I figure out if it’s a surface issue that can be sorted with good vibes or a cup of hot tea. If it’s deeper, I peel the layers to understand what I can do to make myself feel better. At times, it is what it is; I acknowledge it and go to bed, knowing the sun rises again, and I’ll feel better the next day.”

What would you say to someone reading this?

“Your experience is valuable, your story is important, you are important.”

What’s one word that inspires you?


~ Entrepreneur Your Life: Lead on your terms is an empowering account of women around the globe who carved their paths. Driven by passion and perseverance, these women created possibilities for themselves despite the odds. Resourceful and resilient, they represent remarkable strength of character and show us how to be the entrepreneurs of our life. ~

Category: Entrepreneur Your Life