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Natasha Stambuli’s rise to the top at Boomplay

Saturday February 27 2021
Natasha pix
By Lilian Ndilwa

Dar es Salaam. Self-drive, skills and purpose are what have influenced one of Tanzania’s leading digital entertainment influencers to rise to the top. 

The story of Natasha Stambuli - Country Manager of Transsnet Music Limited (‘Boomplay’), leaves a trail of inspiration to any young woman looking to make it in a difficult career terrain. In all her life, Stambuli never had an inclination that she would one day lead a music streaming app.

This was partly due to the fact that she studied international relations as she desired to one day become a diplomat.

“My career aspiration was the complete opposite of what I cur- rently do. I feel as if I stumbled in this position. However, it all started when I started working in the digital world,” Natasha recalls.

Her digital experience started at Aim (a marketing firm), then she worked at Pinpoint Africa Media and Tigo as the head of digital engagement,” says Natasha.

During her days at Tigo, the yearly events of Tigo Fiesta gave her a whole different taste and understanding of music as she knowingly became attached to the craft. Natasha speaks of the days when she questioned her abilities to conquer through the work realities she had experienced at the time.

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“There were times when I ques- tioned people’s thoughts over my work, I feared failure and I still do because, with a female in my industry, there are certain perceptions attached,” she says.

She details that most females ascending the corporate ladder always reach a point in their career when they are made to feel that they should prove themselves of their capabilities. Natasha adds: “it is mostly during that time, you have to constantly prove yourself in your leadership position.”

She says guiding an organisation from scratch to growth is hard, but what is harder is maintaining the growth and thriving at the top.

“Remaining at the helm of many companies is very hard due
to increasing competition,” she says.

She adds that in the music industry, one must embrace daily growth, you must also grow with your company due to the business terrain in Africa. She embraces teamwork at Boom- play, and that it is what has made her lead the company for a period of three years in Tanzania.

“I learned from different leaders that I worked with prior to man- aging Boomplay, that a good lead- er should always make their team involved without restrictions,” she says, adding; “My team knows that they are the cause of the current success of Boomplay, without them by my side, we wouldn’t have arrived at where we are today.”

As a leader, Natasha says she always leaves room for honest opin- ion from the team, as they are what perfects a company. Unlike most people, Natasha does not have mentors, she has role models and people with the same pace as hers career-wise. She mentions Seven Mosha, who was recently named the Marketing and Artist Development Manager for East Africa at Sony Music Entertainment as one of her role models.

“Even though I have never been mentored, I have mentees who
come in for direction and guidance on personal and social issues,” says Natasha. Stambuli addresses the lack of diversity in top leadership positions.

She says there has been a slow change in the number of women leaders but the process is moving at a turtle pace. 

“There have been some strides so far, we have a lot of women coming up and many others who were left behind are voicing out their desire for the front seat in developmental and leadership positions,” she reveals.

According to Natasha, girls deserve to have women to relate and look up to for advancement in professions and life in general. “A woman should not live her life behind the curtains.

She might have an ability that could inspire hundreds of  other women,” she says. She emphasizes promoting own abilities digitally because, with the current era, you might interest people in different professions who would want to work with you.

“Men always know what they want in terms of profession, they are determined when it comes to seeking out opportunities that can direct them to their goals, it has to be the same for women,” Natasha talks.

She adds; “your intentions define what you pursue, it is an unending journey and at times, you have to relentlessly remind yourself of the goals you want to achieve as you also restrict any timidity.”

Her leadership confidence was founded by her father who set high standards for her and taught her to speak for what she wants as well as reaching for every goal she wanted.

“I have always been very vocal with what I want, it’s one of the characters I have inherited from my father,” says Natasha.

Being in the managerial position, she says, has been quite the journey with its perks and challenges along- side it.

“This experience as a woman leader has assisted me in discovering things about myself; my skills, weaknesses, strength and at the same time granted me the network which has enhanced my interaction with people in the music industry,” she explains.

She concludes that the position has so far allowed her to tap into multiple opportunities that have led her into acquiring more skills as well as be more positively challenged.