Kassie



Kassie and I share a love for web series ( and maybe Korean dramas, but that's a secret!) , she has a wonderful open heart and an adventurous supportive woman who has no idea what tremendous support she will be receiving on her own endeavors!


What do you celebrate about being a woman?

I celebrate our unique talents and ability to juggle multiple responsibilities. I
celebrate the ability to use my voice and opportunities given to me that others 
before me did not have. This is an exciting time to be a woman, considering all that women have been denied in the not so distant past. I also celebrate being a woman by learning from exemplary figures, who embody various aspects of feminism.

What do you wish other women knew?

I wish other women knew how special, beautiful, unique, strong and powerful they are. We have the ability to shape our own lives and identities. We should not be afraid to speak up, and we should not have a nonchalant attitude about matters that affect us. We should use our voices to fight for what we want and believe in. 

How do you express yourself creatively? 

I used to write but that has kind of fallen to the way side. I may or may not have two inactive blogs floating around on the Internet somewhere. Fun fact: I was once a contributing writer for the popular Trendsetters magazine under Youth Media (now Media 365) in Zambia. I might take up writing again someday.

How are you making a difference in the world?

I would like to believe that my small (in the grand scheme of things) yet significant actions make a difference in the world. I am very passionate about women’s rights and empowerment as well a wide variety of issues related to children. I have previously worked in a domestic violence shelter, advocating for abused women. This was probably the most challenging yet fulfilling work I have ever done. I have also been a mentor and tutor to girls from low- income families at my local Girl’s Inc chapter. That experience taught me that undeserved girls need all the resources and tools they need to excel in life, on top of the many socio-economic challenges they face. Hearing girls tell me they wish I was their mom or big sister is a pretty heart -warming experience. In those moments, I know I am doing something right by being a positive influence in that child’s life. To me, that is a difference made. Currently, I am a community ambassador for a local non- profit organization that works to stop the commercial sexual exploitation of children. This is a very sensitive and real issue, and is also the focus of my academic research. I also tweet about social justice issues but mostly on women and children. I think being an ‘internet activist’ is relevant in our present day, because there is so much one can learn and share through social media.

What do you believe is your calling and what are you doing about it?

I believe my calling is to be of service to others in any way I can. I have largely focused on women and children because I believe these are under served and vulnerable groups. There are so many issues that affect these two groups. For now, I am loosely involved with various organizations dealing with commercial sexual exploitation of children, human trafficking, human rights and gender equality.

How do you celebrate where you come from? 

I celebrate where I am from by exposing others to my culture. I often get asked where I am from and I use that as an opportunity to let others know about my country, my culture etc.My proudest “how do I celebrate where I’m from” moment would have to be when I collaborated on a special project about Zambia, with a local Boys & Girls Club for an annual cultural challenge. It was so rewarding to teach these kids about my country. I was quite emotional during the dress rehearsal because the kids put so much time and effort into learning about Zambia. They knew the president, the staple food, provinces, currency, and everything there was to know. They put together an amazing showcase for the cultural challenge, and it was just a lovely experience altogether. I felt like a proud parent.

What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?

I think one of the biggest obstacles I have had to overcome doubts my capabilities. It’s a really crippling feeling. I’ve now adopted a positive, can-do attitude and that has helped me sail through life much better.


You can follow her on twitter @kassie_zm






Sherida


Sherida caught my eye with a blogpost and in the picture she is wearing the heck out of some red lipstick. (Dont believe me? Check out her her google + ).
She is an incredible graphic designer who does some thought provoking work.

What do you celebrate about being a woman?

As shallow as it may sound, I celebrate our bodies. It is a fascinating phenomenon to me. I believe we posses the most beautiful art form in nature to call our own. Every inch of our bodies is deliberate and carved in such a way that we can give life, nurture and protect.

What do you wish other women knew?

That there is room for more of us at the top. The catty competitiveness that is often promoted within women (by both sexes) is not an example of human progress and definitely not attractive. We ought to inspire and uplift each other not pin ourselves against one another. The beauty that comes from being in a female friendship is overwhelming and so much can be achieved through that realisation.

How do you express yourself creatively?

I blog! My blog is essentially my mental dumpsite. I track my musings and growth, both as a person and as a Graphic Designer. I also write poems and short stories which I store in a little pocket notebook.

What do you believe is your calling and what are you doing about it?

I really want to serve through my writing. My biggest inspirations come from books I have read. Nothing speaks to me more than when someone decidedly puts pen to paper to fabricate a story that is compelling and beautiful. I have discovered so much of myself just by listening to poets like Alysia Harris or reading books like ‘The Blacker The Berry’ by Wallace Thurman. This is what I want to do. I want the stories that I write to have that one person find their history in my poems and short stories. I haven’t yet shared the writer side of me, but I have lots of stories that I’m currently typesetting and working on getting published, if even for my own peace of mind.

How do you celebrate where you come from?

My family and I have always moved from country to country. I’ve lived in Ghana (Kumasi), Holland (Rotterdam, Schiedam, Den Haag), England (Liverpool, Reading, London) and I’ve been to Portugal, Germany, Switzerland and lots more places. So it is then a little more difficult to define where I’m actually from, therefore a bit more challenging to celebrate one place. Instead, I celebrate all the cultures I have had the pleasure to be a part of. The languages I speak as a result of moving, is a direct celebration of all these places. Plus, I think that the world is so much bigger and more fulfilling than one postcode/zipcode! 

What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?

Obstacles are never ending. So I’m going to say that the biggest obstacle I’ve overcome this year has been letting go jealousy. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had this mindset of wanting to know what it mine and mine only. But recently, I’ve come to a realisation that I don’t own or deserve anything in this world. Everything is by complete grace. The only valuable thing to me is God’s eternal love, that is the hope I can claim as my own. It hurts to let hurt go, but ultimately we take nothing in this life with us when we pass.

Sherida can be found blogging , photography , or teaching graphic design on youtube!







Malayika

photo  : Merissa Haldemann

Malayika and I met at the prestigious African Youth Foundation Adler awards. She walked in..right behind her big big hair! Lucky for me she sat at my table, lucky for me she sang that night. Lucky for you, she wants you to know....

What do you celebrate abut being a woman? 

I think we are highly compassionate. Besides that I'd rather say, I have a lot to be thankful for, first of all being alive, no matter of gender - it's a precious gift. Lately I'm getting into how women and men are the same on a deeper level. We are One.

What do you wish other women knew? 

I wish every woman can be able to respect what she needs, wants and is able to give, without exhausting herself. I think we still have to learn to take good care of our own needs, fulfilling what we're passionate about - we tend to do this for others first.


How do you express yourself creatively? 

I used to create sculptures and drawings to express my inner struggles and visions. Now I love to express my insights through writing songs, singing & performing on stage.


How are you making a difference in the world? 


Bridging gaps in a joyful and groovy way. 
As an Artist through my music and leading projects (e.g. Unique Heartbeat ).
It develops mutual understanding of our mixed cultures, contrary views, gender issues, which nearly all of us experience. 
In my music I focus mainly on a new Pan-African consciousness and spiritual upliftment.

What do you believe is your calling and what are you doing about it? 

Well, as my name Malayika means angel, I feel I need to let my light shine as much as I can. And encourage others to do the same.


How do you celebrate where you come from? 

I love the great variety of Pan-African music. Also I like to show my africaness through my jewellery, bright colours  I wear and by promoting the use of natural Karité (Shea butter).


What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome? 

Overcoming my inner insecurity, to really believe in myself.




Niasony






Niasony is a force to be reckoned with. So many Africans talk about helping their home countries, she is actually doing that with her music, speaking about the issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A modern day revolutionary, Niasony is hardcore...but also so feminine at the same time.

What do you celebrate abut being a woman?

Die erotische oder sexuelle Darstellung von Frauen ist für mich nicht etwas, das man feiern muss  oder ein Symbol für die Freiheit der Frau

- The sexual or erotic display of women is for me nothing to celebrate , neither is it a symbol of womens' freedom


What do you wish other women knew? 

Wir leben in einer kranken Welt und eine Frau muss immer vorsichtig sein, damit sie nicht ausgenutzt wird. Es ist besser im Regen zu tanzen als auf die Sonne zu warten!

- We are living in a sick world and a woman always has to be careful not to get used,its better to dance in the rain than to wait for the sun


How do you express yourself creatively? 

Durch meine Musik und meine Texte. Meine Songs beschreiben, wie es in mir aussieht, beschreiben meine Gefühle und nehmen so auch Bezug auf das Geschehen in meiner Heimat Kongo, die mich sehr bewegt. Solange die Situation im Kongo sich nicht verbessert, werde ich mich krank und wie nicht von dieser Welt fühlen. 

- Through my music and lyrics.My songs describe what it looks inside of me, describes my emotions and also relates to things that happen to my home country Congo, that's what really moves me. As long as the situation in Congo does not improve, I will continue to feel sick and not of this world.


How are you making a difference in the world?

Es gibt nichts, das es nicht schon mal gegeben hat. Alles was ich tue und was ich sage ist nichts neues, aber ich tue es für Gott und versuche immer mit dem Herzen zu sehen.

- There is nothing that never happened before.Everything I do and say is nothing new, but I am doing it for God and try to always see things with my heart.

What do you believe is your calling and what are you doing about it?

Ich kann diese Frage nicht beantworten, das müssen andere für mich tun, die auf mich schauen.

- I cannot answer this question, other people that look at me must answer this question.


How do you celebrate where you come from? 

Die Musik, die ich selber spiele und die ich höre, verbindet mich mit meinen Wurzeln. Kiteke ist meine eigentliche Muttersprache, ich versuche diese wieder durch Musik zu erlernen.

- The music, that I personally make, and the music that I listen to connect me to my roots.Kiteke is my mother tongue, I try to relearn it through music.


What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?

Die Reise vom Kongo nach Europa war ein Kulturschock. Ich war noch ein Kind und wusste nicht, wo ich landen würde (in Deutschland).

- The journey from Congo to Europe was a cultural shock. I was still a child and did not know where I would end up (in Germany).

Visit Niasony's website for more information on her music , concert dates and contact information.




Carolyn


Don't let the doe soft eyes fool you! Carolyn is a proud Electronic technician with a full head of curly hair and a great love for dancing (long hours at a time!) Her comapssionate nature and quick wit make this great lover of Africa even more pleasurable to be around.

What do you celebrate about being a woman?  

As a woman I celebrate a lot of things. Let me share a few with you. I celebrate the biggest God given gift which is being able to conceive a child.
My job is male dominated and as a female, black female I can proudly say that I am an electronic technician in a company run by men. I am the first female, first brown skinned female to do what I do in this company and I realize and celebrate it every single day. I celebrate it because I enjoy it and it interests me.I don't do it to prove anything to anyone, that women are capable of doing male dominated jobs isn't really new anymore, but I salute all women who made this path easier for me. As a brown skinned girl I love my natural Diverse/versatile hair and of course my curvy figure.


What do you wish other women knew?

I wish that other women knew their values of being women. Knowing your values and self-worth you won't have to put up with foolishness nor will you degrade yourself in any type of way.

I wish other women knew that it's extremely important to love yourself just the way you are and also show it, because a lot of young girls in the process of growing up look up to us and need to learn to love themselves as-well. Especially brown skinned girls with low self-esteem who don't feel naturally beautiful, due to the typical portrayal of the ideal beauty of females in the media for example.

I wish other women would recognize that nobody is perfect and in order to move forward in life, we would have to put petty issues which we have amongst each other aside and focus on positive changes. We need to use every single chance we get as females in this world to make a difference and not waste it on nonsense.
Having the greatest gift to carry out new life makes us women teachers from day one! We have a duty! We can make big things happen working together than working against each other.

I wish other women knew that it's not attractive to degrade your man just because you have achieved so much in life, just because you worked so hard and have it all and actually don't even need a man to take care of you. In my opinion we're supposed to achieve so much as women in the first place, its not new and its not something to brag about.
We are supposed to be independent regardless of anything, life is tough so obviously we have to work hard., your man has nothing to do with that!

Yes Mr. James Brown “this is a mans world BUT it don't mean nothing without a woman’s heart” not without a woman’s emancipation overflow!





How do you express yourself creatively?

I put my expressions into writing about topics that disturb me as well as topics that interest me the most. I enjoy writing articles although I haven't really published any yet.
Mingling with different people at events, sharing and exchanging interests and ideas is one the ways I also enjoy expressing myself.
I like to put my feedback into interviews, articles, stories on blogs and such like.

How are you making a difference in the world?

Well, dealing with the web page 'ifwebantu' and the facebook group 'afromaßig schön ', I try my best to make a particular orientation of people look at them themselves and their where they are from more positively.
I would like to show how beautiful other parts of the world are, especially Africa. The continent is not  portrayed very well in the media and this gives people a very false image of what Africa is. 
Many Africans are more interested in learning about European countries or America than the African counties and their capitals. 
I was also a victim of that and only later realized how important it is to have knowledge of where you are from which is also one of the aims of ifwebantu
I would like to concentrate more on the “doing” than on the “talking”. 
How am I going to make progress by making statements without actually laying a hand on anything?

What do you believe is your calling and what are you doing about it?

I came across my calling through this African proverb, 


“It's better to give than to receive”

Where I'm from, you are brought up by your parents who guide you, to accomplish as much as possible in life, they want the best for you and want to bring out the best in you and once you are settled you start to give back!
I see Africa/Zambia as my motherland although I am a mix of different cultures. Being my motherland, I think it's time for me to start to give back! I want to bring out the best and do what's best for my fellow brothers and sisters in Africa/Zambia. Something I recently realized.


How do you celebrate where you come from?

I celebrate where I am from just by eating the staple food and introducing it to others. 
I also like to wear traditional attire once in a while and taking part in events to do with Zambia or with Africa in general.
I also do this by working with a colleague on a ifwebantu , it has to do with the uplifting of Africans, news about what's going on here and there, showing and sharing the beauty of our people, the land and the wildlife. 
A few girls and myself opened a group for Africans in Germany mainly who have difficulties dealing with their natural hair, not only because of the weather here in Europe, but also because a few of them cannot accept the fact that they look beautiful in their natural state. Members are free to ask questions, advise each other on hair products and post pictures. Loving yourself just the way you are is also respecting your roots. For me that's a form of celebrating who you are.

What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?

The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome would be realizing that my interests have changed throughout the years. 
As a child one always has big dreams to do big things which are then later on accomplished, but only to find out that you are not passionate about these things anymore. There is almost no turning back once you are so deep into the system you already built up for yourself and it has been and still is the biggest obstacle I am trying to overcome. 
Trying to start new and at the same time trying to combine what I once was passionate about with my new interests and building up on that.


You can keep up with Carolyn on ifwebantu and on the facebook page of afromaßig schön







Sara



Sara, one person who truly understands the allure of being a little girl in socks and having a nice shiny floor to explore, now channels this energy into showcasing her love for Zambia. Read on and find out how!


What do you celebrate abut being a woman? 

I celebrate our fighting spirits, the warmth in our hearts and our billowing emotions. I celebrate our curves. That we have so much more we can wear compared to men! I celebrate the saying, 'behind every great man is a great women.' I celebrate that we strive for more, and that with each generation we achieve more, and more, and more.
What do you wish other women knew?

I wish all women knew how much they are capable of. Despite that I see us women taking great strides, I see many women accepting that they should do things a certain way. I see women accepting less than they should. I see women passing up opportunities because they think they can't. I see women not speaking out. Each of us has an internal battle to fight. That is to overcome our personal insecurities, fears and limitations. When we take small steps each day towards security, fearlessness and limitless freedom, then each of us is on to something individually. Then when we group together, supporting each other and working together as one 'womanhood' if you like, we are incredibly powerful. There is also something else I wish women knew - that there is no need to pursue fake, that we were born with everything we need to look beautiful. We need to tell the message of natural beauty over and over again to our young girls and teenagers who are growing up now.

How do you express yourself creatively? 

On the surface it may look like I have not fed my creative spirit since I graduated from my degree in Graphic Design and Illustration in 2005. I threw myself into trying to build a career for myself. Then I realised I'd been selling my soul. I wasn't happy. So from 2009 onwards I have dedicated every spare minute to building my businesses. My roles at work require creative thinking through writing and design for ourselves and our clients. 

But, aside from my creative work I have known for a long time that I need to express my creative self more. So about three months ago, I started my personal blog. That was a challenge to myself which you can read in my first post. It is a space for me to write whatever I want - no agenda, no rules, not even any real focus right now. It is literally my writing experiment. Aside from that I have dreams of writing visually expressive books. Like coffee table books - a mix of typography, image, illustration, the content of which I have decided yet. No doubt it will be an eclectic expression of the things that make me, me.
How are you making a difference int he world? 

This was a hard question for me to answer because I don't like 'blowing my own trumpet'. But that in itself is a problem that many women have. We undersell ourselves. So I pushed myself to answer this honestly. I give every minute of every day my best shot. Time is precious and I have an obligation to use my blessings and talents to the max. I make a point of being polite, patient and friendly to everyone I meet - from the person behind a till to business leaders. A talk to a cleaner the same as I would talk to my clients. A please, thank you, have a nice day and a smile can go such a long way. I have a strong philosophy that runs through my core - treat others as you want to be treated. 

Family is also very important to me. I live with my 92 year old Grandmother and 17 year old niece. In England it is culturally acceptable to put the elderly in homes. I was taught to look after your elders. My family works together - my Mum helps me with our business in Zambia, and I am here, supporting her mother, my Grandmother. My niece has dreams of being a Vet. She needs a stable home and support. My husband and I can give her that. This commitment to one cranky old woman and one temperamental teen is hard but rewarding! In the future, I want to help more young people achieve their dreams through education, mentorship and work experience.
What do you believe is your calling and what are you doing about it? 

My calling is to help raise the profile of Zambia (my home) and Africa. My calling is to use my talents in communication and marketing to spread a more positive image of Africa. When I was young, I remember visiting England and seeing all these disaster stories about Africa on the TV. This was so different to the Africa I knew. Don't get me wrong, Africa has many a challenge. But so does everywhere else! It is not my role to perpetuate the stories of corruption, political unrest, civil war, HIV, malnutrition and the general negative attitude the world has of Africa, and in fact the negative attitude many Africans have of Africa. My role is to cultivate and spread the stories of success, of economic growth, of individual success, of health and happiness. Africa suffers a bit of a marketing catastrophe. Bad things happen everywhere. Not just in Africa. It's just other continents present their 'brand' better. I want to help change Africa's 'brand'.

What am I doing about it? Well, Something Beckons works closely with our sister company in Zambia. The Best of Zambia is currently in it's fourth year, and it's third website redesign. Each time we do a little more within the limited resources we have. We are getting to the stage where our product and systems are about right to test things out in other Zambian cities and other African countries. 2014 and 2015 are BIG years for us.
How do you celebrate where you come from?

I never forget! There is something about being born in Africa that seems to tug at your heart all the while. I don't know if this is true for everyone who finds themselves in another land far from home. Who I am, celebrates where I come from. I am proud to be different - I'm proud to have the confidence to express different opinions, views and approaches. I find many people accept the norm, whereas I question it. I also celebrate where I am from through simpler things like my style, my taste in music and going out of my way to buy products like mealie-meal, rape, okra and goat meat so we can cook food that remind us of meals we shared at our Grandparents homes, surrounded by family and friends.
What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?
Limited financial resources has been the biggest obstacle by far. If banks would lend to us, if we had more personal resources to allocate, if more people would lend a hand we would have achieved far more in a shorter time period. But this is true for everyone, not just us. I hear many people say they cannot do things because they can't afford it. We couldn't afford to start Something Beckons or The Best of Zambia Some would say we still can't afford it! Every day is hard and we've been in some real financial tangles. It is getting better but it will be years before we are fully recovered. But I believe we will get there and it will be so worth it for me, my family, our team of people who we are taking with us, the businesses we work with and ultimately for Zambia and Africa. The joy of doing what you believe in is that even before the battle is won, you have a ripple effect of positivity. I'm not sure when I will stand back and say I have won the battle, but I do want to be remembered for a ripple effect of positivity. 

+Sara Drawwater can be found on twitter @sara_drawwater and @thebestofzambia. The best of Zambia can also be found on facebook




Reenie




 Reenie, such a well of information, hilariously funny and amazing content curator! Need information? Then get to reading her twitter time line!


What do you celebrate about being a woman?



I'm an only girl with four brothers - which meant growing up my closest friends were my brothers and I was a tom boy to boot! I loved being able to do all the stuff that was traditionally meant for 'boys' which included washing and polishing the car, now you might wonder what has this got to do with celebrating being a woman right? Well being a woman that my mother brought me up to be means being multi-dimensional - I am feminine but not weak, I'm comfortable talking about knitting as I am talking about rugby. And that is what I celebrate the most!

What do you wish other women knew?

That instead of competing against each other, mindless gossiping and envy - women are a much stronger force when they come together and work together!

How do you express yourself creatively?

I curate content - I write, I tweet (yes I seriously did mention tweeting as a creative outlet, it is 2013 after all LOL!).

How are you making a difference in the world?

By making sure I focus on the different positive stories that are out there and share them with the world on Chaud. Is it cliche to mention that 'I was Here' by Beyonce is actually my life theme song - so in every day with every story we tell on Chaud, or a tweet we send, web series we curate or an email I send out to a friend or stranger we hope it touches some-one and makes a difference in the world. I strongly believe that those little every day actions actually make a great impact just as much as one huge action.

What do you believe is your calling and what are you doing about it?

Beyonce's 'I am here' plays again...LOL..No seriously as stated above I strongly believe that little actions and gestures make an impact and I believe my calling is to always at least each day make some-one smile whether friend or stranger and I do that by stories that we share on Chaud, the listening ear and just being there!

How do you celebrate where you come from?
I think the latest Issue on Chaud 'The New Africa' issue is how I celebrate where my roots are. I might not shout it out everyday but as Kwame Nkurumah said 'I'm African not because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me'. And oh the ability to speak quite a few African languages other than Shona is another way I celebrate being African.

What is the biggest obstacle I have had to come?

Biggest obstacle? Hmmm embracing the fact that I'm an introverted extrovert (an introvert who seems extrovert ) and that's really who I am and loving that introverted geek who can express herself with words and art and fashion!


Follow Reenie on Twitter @chaud_themag or read Chaud the magazine





Jen


This dark skinned beauty is one to keep your eye on with her fun involvement with media, live events and charity work. Jen is an outspoken young lady with a great love for Africa, if she is not hosting her show, you can find her working hard on her other projects or pinning away on Pinterest :)


What do you celebrate about being a woman?

In the past and also nowadays, in some countries women don’t have the right to speak and express themselves. Today I live in a country where, as a woman, I am able to think, talk, write and live on my own terms. I am proud and celebrating my being a woman because I know that we are fighters. Without important Women like Nana YaaAnsante waa from Ghana who fought for us we would not be where we are now.

I can work in different kind of jobs without getting strange looks from others, e.g. in a hospital as a nurse, as an engineer or event as Chancellor (like Angela Merkel ). I can express different kinds of feelings where ever I am, even in public!

The biggest thing is that I can carry a life inside of me and give birth. 
We women are fighters because sometimes in terms of a career we have to work harder to get to the same level as a man.
Women are strong and responsible. 
Even whilst going through a hard time, we never forget that we are a wife, a sister or a mother.
 I read a great quote:

                  'A woman is the backbone of a family, society and nation.' 

I totally I agree with this statement.





What do you wish other women knew?

We need to know that we can learn from each other. In addition to this, if we don’t want to do something: we can say NO without feeling guilty. We can define ourselves without letting another person do it.

We should learn how to repair broken things at home or how to change a tire so that we don’t depend on other people. We should make ourselves and our own needs a priority. We should know how to examine our breasts. I wish women would know how to speak their minds whether in job or in bed.

How do you express yourself creatively?

I am not a person with an obvious talent. My talents are in writing my thoughts down. Therefore I originated a blog called "Frolicious" where a good friend of mine Dunja and I blog about African urban lifestyle.I also love planning different events with my charity project "Rastafairys 4 Africa" which I set up with the actress Cosma Shiva Hagen
In the past I wrote poems. I am good at solving problems for other people or finding solutions. I like surprising my family and my friends.


How are you making a difference in the world?

Making a difference to the world may seem like an enormous task, but the size of the contribution is not what matters most. The key here is to have the heart to do it. I read another quote: 

            “Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” 

That's true.

One of my motto's is 
                           “To receive, you must first give”.
 I try to give happiness and love. I am not judgemental and give everybody a chance. I like to get to know people and don’t judge them at the first sight. I am able to help people by encouraging them if they need it.

I like taking control and responsibilities of my actions. I am not a person who complains or whines the whole time. I am a person who thinks about the situation and about the possibilities to change it. I am not afraid of leading people or make decisions.

I never give up if it seems impossible to reach the goal. Sometimes it annoys other people but it also sometimes encourages others to grow with me. 
I always have an aim and I always work on towards my goal. Somebody told me that I am able to carry people with my enthusiasm and that it is never boring with me.


What do you believe is your calling and what are you doing about it

I think my calling is to help other people that’s the reason why I am director of a charity project and also CEO and Founder of Frolicious where I write about my experience with natural hair. I am trying to help people to avoid the same mistakes I did. In addition to this I am a good listener and very empathetic.




How do you celebrate where you come from?

I was born in Hamburg,Germany but my parents are from Ghana.Although I don’t look mixed I am in my soul.

I like wearing African prints like Kente from Ghana. Every time I get to talk with other people from Ghana I celebrate it.
Twi is a great language and I am happy that I haven't forgot it all. I like being around people, it doesn't matter where they come from to learn from them or to change life experiences. At the end of the day the person is more important than where they are from.

What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?

I have to accept that I can't change or do everything by myself.I need help and I have to be patient sometimes.


You can watch Jen on Afrika Outlook , enjoy her natural hair page Frolicious or follow her on twitter @rastafairys or @rastafairy_jen .
She is also on instagram! instagram.com/jenmartensworld




Mukuni


Mukuni is a courageous woman, that has found her calling in encouraging people around her using her faith in God. A proud wife, mother and Social Worker, Mukuni offers a voice of hope to those with a listening ear.She also loves shoes :)

What do you celebrate about being a woman?
I believe women hold a special place in God’s heart. I am created in the image of God, fearfully and wonderfully made. That’s who God says I am and that’s what I live by. I like that I possess a kind, nurturing and compassionate nature. Also, I can own truck loads of shoes and not have to justify why ha!

What do you wish other women knew? 
I wish above all things that every woman will come to the realisation that they are created in the image of God. That they are beautiful just as they are. We don’t have to constantly try to be someone else or be at loggerheads with one another all the time. Additionally, everything you need is in God, He is our source and until we go back to the Source, everything will remain chaotic. It’s okay to be different even as women, if anything our differences are what make us beautiful collectively. 
How do you express yourself creatively? 
I like writing. I used to write poems and short stories in primary and Junior High School but it’s something I have never taken seriously. Maybe it’s high time I revisited this ‘hidden’ talent, who knows where it will lead me?
How are you making a difference in the world? 
I am telling people about my walk with God, I am a born again Christian and am not ashamed to let this be known in my sphere of influence and beyond. Because of my faith, I try by all means to see the positive in everyone and to ensure that in all my interactions with people, I bless them with my words, smile and countenance.
What do you believe is your calling and what are you doing about it? 
I believe the Lord has called me to be a Worshipper and an encourager, it’s such a dark world out there. Everywhere you look it’s bad news. I serve in my church’s Praise and Worship team as a singer. I am constantly encouraging people through my Facebook and Twitter pages, on the phone, a prayer group I’m part of on Whatsapp and my one on one interactions.
How do you celebrate where you come from?
I come from Zambia and I am very proud of my roots and heritage. I speak 3 local languages fluently (Bemba, Nyanja and Mambwe) and I am not ashamed to express myself in my mother tongue (Bemba). I like how rich the Proverbs in Bemba are. I have taken it upon myself to teach my daughter Bemba so that I can pass on this part of our heritage to her. I am enjoying the journey because I believe each time one sets out to teach, they begin a journey of re-discovery and learning too.
What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome? 
The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome was relocating to Zambia after having lived in England for a while. Settling back in was quite a challenge, especially with regards to finding employment. But the flip side meant I had all the time in the world to be a dotting wife and mother to my little girl. In hindsight, I believe that’s a deliberate pause that God put in my life in order for me to re-arrange my priorities.

If you need encouragement, prayer or just someone to talk to, you can connect with Mukuni on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Kashsimps.