Swaady Martin

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Swaady Martin
Swaady Martin-2.jpg
Swaady Martin
Born1980 (age 42–43)
Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea
Alma materLycee Francais Charles De Gaulle, HEC Lausanne, London School of Economics, NYU Stern Business School and HEC Paris
OccupationFounder and CEO of YSWARA. Author.
Known forFounding YSWARA

Editor: Tamia Adolph

Swaady Martin is the founder and CEO of YSWARA, a South African luxury tea company that produces African tea-blends and tea accessories ethically-sourced from African ingredients. The company aims to contribute to the reversal of the African commodity trap.[1] Martin is an author, social entrepreneur, certified Yoga and Mindfulness teacher and former corporate executive.


Born in Côte d'Ivoire, Martin considers herself a panafropolitan, as she grew up in Liberia and Senegal before moving to school in France and later the United Kingdom.[2]

Martin holds a Baccalaureat in Sciences from Lycee Francais Charles De Gaulle, a Masters in Economic Sciences from HEC Lausanne, an MBA from the London School of Economics, NYU Stern Business School and HEC Paris Business School.[3] Martin completed the Change Make Program at the Harvard Divinity School. She is a Yoga and Mindfulness for children teacher, certified by the Yogabeez Yoga & Mindfulness Children International School.[4]

From the age of six, Martin dreamed of being in a business.[5] Before pursuing her entrepreneur ideas, Martin had a ten-year career at General Electic Co. which included leadership and managerial positions. Martin first worked as an Internal Auditor in 2001 and HQ Controllership & Financial Planning Analyst for GE Capital from 2003. From 2005, she worked as a Commercial Development Manager for Africa in the company. Her last position was as a Regional Sales Leader Sub-Saharan Africa / Acting-CEO GE South Africa Technologies for GE Transportation. Martin also worked for a Nigerian company, Paga, as a Management Consultant in 2010.[6]

In 2012, Martin founded YSWARA. Due to Martin’s passion for agro-appreciation, she aimed to create a high-quality product in Africa that has both local and global market appeal. Martin discovered that Africa is the largest exporter of tea, however, the top tea companies are not found in Africa. Combined with her love for tea, Martin decided to establish YSWARA. [7] YSWARA produces ethically-sourced African tea-blends as well as tea accessories such as soy-wax aromatherapy candles, copper tea infusers and teaspoons. [8]

Martin launched Shift Within in 2017, which offers personal development courses, events, programs and workshops for mindful living which evolved into TOUNCHE, Global Consciousness Summit and events.[9] Furthermore, Martin has authored several books including Malaika and the Angel, Where Love Blossoms, I Am Because We Are and How the Land of Sorrow Became the Land of Joy.


In 2011, Martin was named New Leader of the Future by the Forum of Crans Montana.

In 2012, Swaady Martin was awarded an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship and an Aspen Europe-Africa Emerging Leader Fellow.

In 2013, Martin was named one of Africa’s top businesswomen by New African Woman and Les Afriques. In 2014, Martin won the Africa Economy Builders award. She was named as one of the top 20 young Africans building the future of Africa by Forbes. In the same year, she was one of the 40 women on Oprah Winfrey’s O’ Power List.

In 2015, she was nominated as a rising talent at the 2015 Women’s Forum for the economy and society. Martin was part of the Choiseuli 200 Africa Economic Leaders for Tomorrow. She won the 2015 Emerging African Brand award by Brand Africa.

In 2018, she was one of Africa’s most influential Women in Business and Government.

In 2019, Martin was part of Tropics Magazine 200 African Changemakers 2018/2019.[10]