Carolien & Senegalese Entrepreneur Antje Tenhaaf: Creating With Heart

Last February, I travelled to Southern Senegal to take part in a cultural exchange between people from Southern Senegal and Europe. At the end of my travels, I realized I had to get my phone and little microphone out of my bag and film a new episode of CarolienTV with entrepreneur and host Antje Tenhaaf. Under the palm trees, of course.

Antje created Sindeye, a meeting center for cultural exchange and collaboration, together with her Senegalese partner. The two started the project from scratch, as there were only two hectares of overgrown land and no budget to work with. They have since transformed Sindeye into a blooming center with guesthouses, a kitchen, a dining area, well-kept gardens and many visitors, providing employment for 10 local Senegalese men and women.

In our conversation, Antje speaks about what it takes to create something big in a manner that completely works for her — and not against her. For example, she makes sure Sindeye doesn’t grow too fast, so that everything she and her partner take on remains containable. Her house rules are ‘no pressure’ and ‘yes to commitment without worrying about the form’. It has brought her very far. Along the way, Antje has discovered something important about herself: ‘Here I could unfold the power that I have. I was not restrained. I never thought I had that power in me.’