Meet The Women In My Life – Part 31 – Cao

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at acthe shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with a lady I met in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was at a networking event and we ended up having such great conversation, finding very interesting parallels with our stories and similarities in our personalities. Meet Cao…

Be the master of your life and enjoy it. I always believe through my hard work, I can achieve whatever I want. It’s just a matter of time.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Cao Shifang

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Cao Shifang

Current location: Beijing, China

Born in: Shandong Province, China

Cao Shifang - 26 - Freelance English<>Chinese Interpreter.
Cao Shifang – 26 – Freelance English<>Chinese Interpreter.

Hi Cao, what makes you a woman?

I would say mainly my physiological features when I was born, and the environment I grew up with.

Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?

I respect my mom the most. She has taught me everything. My mom didn’t get access to good education because her family is so poor. But she has everything inside of herself.

Cao Shifang
Cao Shifang

She is super mannered, full of ambition and very open-minded. She taught me by the way she does things in life. I am very grateful that she is being super supportive of me with all the decisions I made in my life.

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

To be honest, I don’t think my life would be much different.

Oh, I wouldn’t have my lovely brother if I were a man. Back in my village, people value boys more than girls. (Cao is hinting at the fact that if she was a boy, her parents would not have tried to have another child)

Nowadays it’s getting better in the big cities in China but still in some villages, they hold the idea that boys are better than girls, because they believe that boys can carry on the family line.

Cao Shifang
Cao Shifang

Besides that, maybe I wouldn’t have to be bothered by my monthly period. So I could drink anytime and not have to worry about it.

According to the traditional Chinese medicine theory, it’s no good for women to drink alcohol while they are on their period, or to drink cold things either. I try to avoid drinking alcohol when I am on my period, because if I do, I will suffer a bit the next time I am on my period.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

I struggle with the fact that I don’t have enough time every day. I am so busy every day with study, work, meeting up with friends and my boyfriend.

So I wish I could have more time, so I could do all the things I want to do.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

I enjoy travelling the most in my life. It’s just so wonderful to go outside and see other different parts of the world. Meeting up with different people from different cultural backgrounds, changing one’s ideas is one of the best things to do in life. Every time I go to some other places, it makes me appreciate life more.

Life is so fabulous!

Cao in Hainan, China
Cao in Hainan, China
Cao Shifang
Cao Shifang
Cao in Sicily Italy
Cao in Sicily Italy

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

Be strong and be yourself. Try your best to live life to the fullest and never go out of your way to please others for whatever reason it is. Go out and enjoy yourself, life is beautiful.

Cao on the golfing range
Cao on the golfing range

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

Dear men, please appreciate the women who you loved. Take every single relationship seriously and don’t mess with them to break their hearts.

What is your dream?

My dream is to have my own business in the future, being a cultural ambassador between different counties. And of course, travelling all over the world with my love.

Cao Shifang
Cao Shifang

Anything else you’d like to add?

Life is not easy. Stop complaining how hard it is and go make a change. Be the master of your life and enjoy it. I always believe through my hard work, I can achieve whatever I want. It’s just a matter of time.

Thanks Cao xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 30 – Sasha

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with yet another cousin of mine. You’ve already met her mother Anifa and she is one the youngest featured ladies in this series thus far. Meet Sasha…

I feel self development is important. It produces growth which will always get you to where you want to be. Never be afraid to change your habits and challenge yourself.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Sasha Kambarami

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Sasha Kambarami

Current location: Bristol, UK

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Sasha Kambarami - 22 - HR Assistant
Sasha Kambarami – 22 – HR Assistant

Hi Sasha, what makes you a woman?

So much makes me a woman, it’s difficult to narrow down without describing what makes me Sasha, but I would say that being able to put others’ needs before mine and being able to multi-task, even when under pressure.

Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?

My mother is the woman I respect the most. She has always pushed through, regardless of what she goes through.

She has made the biggest sacrifices in order for me to be where I am today. She has the biggest heart and I am truly blessed to have her in my life.

Sasha Kambarami
Sasha Kambarami

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

Hmm I not 100% sure on this one…

I feel like it could go either way. However, there are definitely different standards for women and men.

In society, I believe it’s getting a little better but looking within my African culture, I feel there’s still a strong belief that the man is the breadwinner and the woman must stay home with children, cleaning and cooking.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

Being patient. Everything great in life takes time.
I try to work on this as I know I can achieve so much more with being patient.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

I enjoy cooking! I want be an amazing cook just like my mother. Nothing warms my heart more than homemade food.

Check my working food page on instagram: Africa_Tastes

Sasha cooking up a Zim style brew
Sasha cooking up a Zim-style brew

I also enjoy planning and organising. I have a long list of places I want visit and things I want to achieve.

You wouldn’t believe me if I told you I have my whole year written down, and what I want to achieve each month.

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

If you think it is impossible then it will be impossible, but think that it is possible regardless of what things like look like at that moment in time. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve.

Us women are great and can achieve anything.

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

Always work to be your best self and everything around you will be the best.

Sasha with her mom Anifa and her brother David
Sasha with her mom Anifa and her brother David

What is your dream?

My dream is to be successful in my career, have a family of my own and to give back to my mother.

To build a life with purpose, happiness and the word of god.

To constantly be my best self.

Also maybe turn my enjoyment of cooking into something more.

Sasha Kambarami
Sasha Kambarami

Anything else you’d like to add?

I feel self development is important. It produces growth which will always get you to where you want to be.

Never be afraid to change your habits and challenge yourself.

I believe life is a learning process, it will be great but it will test you too. So always be prepared to grab it by the horns and not let it make you become weak.

Thanks Sasha xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 29 – Cheron

Womens Month 2019 - Cheron Martens

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with another cousin of mine. She also travels a lot for work like I do but she most definitely has way more flying than I have! Meet Cheron…

My mother is my world.  From as far back as I remember, she balanced her career and motherhood with resilience.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Cheron Martens

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Cheron Martens

Current location: Dubai, UAE

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Cheron Martens - 37 - Flight Stewardess
Cheron Martens – 37 – Flight Stewardess

Hi Cheron, what makes you a woman?

Most obviously, my physical attributes but also my empathy and sensitivity to people.

Who is the one women you respect the most and why?

My mother is my world.  From as far back as I remember, she balanced her career and motherhood with resilience.

She is also the most kind-hearted person I know, always putting the well-being of others before her own. She inspires me to be better every single day.

Cheron catching some beach time with her parents
Cheron catching some beach time with her parents

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

I found being at an all girls school, if we did not excel in Maths, we were not given the opportunity to study if further.  Where as at all boys’ schools they were all given a fair chance.

Growing up, Maths always gave you an upper hand when choosing a career. I feel my choices could have been wider had I had the same opportunities as my male scholars.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

The damage that we are doing to the environment with no regard of the consequences that it will have on our future generations.

Cheron Martens
Cheron Martens

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Through my job, I have been afforded the opportunity to travel the world.  I have been to places that most people can only dream of and have met the most fascinating people along the way.

Cheron gets to travel a lot
Cheron gets to travel a lot

I am also almost daily exposed to many different cultures and I have learnt so much about the world we live in

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

Instead of bringing each other down with gossip and hearsay, lets support and encourage each other to thrive.

Let’s not wait for opportunity and help, but let’s use our initiative and our resilience to find opportunities for ourselves.

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

You all have mothers and maybe sisters.  Treat women as you would like your mothers and sisters to be treated.

What is your dream?

The opportunity to make peoples’ lives better.  I struggle with seeing the suffering that accompanies poverty as every person deserves to live with dignity.

Anything else you’d like to add?

One of my favourite sayings is that “Behind every successful man is a successful woman”.
Cheron Martens
Cheron Martens

We are the driving force, the strength, the compassion, but always behind the scenes.  Stand up, and step forward my fellow women!

Thanks Cheron xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 28 – Prachi

Womens Month 2019 - Prachi Bobhate

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with a lovely lady I met when gigging in Denmark, which I’ve done a lot over the last few years. Meet Prachi from India…

It’s just the matter of taking the first step towards the path unknown with courage, and the rest falls into place.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Prachi Bobhate

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Prachi Bobhate

Current location: Glostrup, Denmark

Born in: Mumbai, India

Prachi Bobhate - 28 - Customer Relations,  Dancer, Writer
Prachi Bobhate – 28 – Customer Relations, Dancer, Writer

Hi Prachi, what makes you a woman?

A privilege to be born through another woman and being empathetic towards all beings; a humanist.

Who is the one women you respect the most and why?

I respect every single woman who is independent and capable of standing up for herself through thick & thin.

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

If I were born as a male, then I could see my childhood being a little different in terms of patriarchal society structure. But as a grown up I cannot trace any differences. Life perhaps would have been more or less the same.

And I am happy to be born as a woman.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

A constant pressure and thus a never-ending effort to be perfect; but rationally life is a journey to grow and not to strive for perfection.

Prachi in Nyhavn Copenhagen where we first met
Prachi in Nyhavn Copenhagen where we first met

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Dance! Dance and Dance!

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

It’s just the matter of taking the first step towards the path unknown with courage, and the rest falls into place.

Prachi likes to travel when she can
Prachi likes to travel when she can

Yes you are strong, each one of you, so please remember and embrace the strength, ALWAYS!

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

You are equally amazing as we women are. Let’s be in harmony with one another.

Let’s respect one another.

And more importantly lets be HAPPY!

Happy Times!
Happy Times!

What is your dream?

To unleash the true human qualities – Empathy, Connection, Care and Kindness!

And to live life being my authentic self.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Love and accept yourself. It is necessary.

Thanks Prachi xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 26 – Joy

Womens Month 2019 - Joy Moyo

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with another hardworking career woman in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  She is such a beam of light and a force to behold. Many people around the world will know her as she works in tourism. Meet my fun and feisty friend Joy…

I am blessed to have a circle of phenomenal men around me which most people don’t. Men who often don’t make a final decision before actually seeking my point of view.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Joy Moyo

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Joy Moyo

Current location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Born in: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Joy Moyo - 41 - Sales and Marketing Manager (Tourism Sector)
Joy Moyo – 41 – Sales and Marketing Manager (Tourism Sector)

Hiya Joy, what makes you a woman?

My children, the phenomenal women around me and the will power to keep on going, no matter what the obstacles are.

Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?

My mother. She is a tough cookie with a beautiful soul. She’s raised her children with so little and yet gave us so much more than any material thing could give anyone.

She is a gentle woman, and her ability to embrace everyone, even people who she has differences with is mind blowing.

Joy Moyo
Joy Moyo

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

Life would probably be easy if I was a man because I wouldn’t have to work triple times to get the same respect and recognition from my peers and those one interacts with on a daily basis.

I wouldn’t have to jump through as many hoops as I have jumped through. Life would be different in the sense that I wouldn’t hold my children a little longer and enjoy the milestones and the “little” things which are little-big things to women and moms.

That said I appreciate and value being a woman as the challenges and double time we put in is worth the ride.

Customer care is at the forefront of Joys job
Customer care is at the forefront of Joy’s job

What do you struggle with most in life?

Taking care of everyone else and forgetting ‘me’ the bulk of the time.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Meeting new people, which my job affords me all the time.

Learning, learning never ends. I am blessed with the fact that I get to enjoy what I do. The tourism industry is not only work, but play and the relationships forged and friendships acquired are for a lifetime.

Joy Moyo hanging out with a couple of birds in Australia
Joy Moyo hanging out with a couple of birds in Australia

One gets to travel the world without even going anywhere.

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

Be your sister’s keeper. Fix another sister’s crown every time you get the chance.

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

Value the women in your life and in general. Give credit where it’s due without the double standards, because even if the double standards are put to deter women, women are rocks and once they put their mind into doing something, they will do it.

Joy in action with her fitness boot camp buddies
Joy in action with her fitness boot camp buddies

What is your dream?

I have a lot of dreams…

To grow old and see my children flourish in life. To see women uplifting each other in life.

Joy with her son
Joy with her son

To grow my business network which has steadily grown and awesome contacts and referrals always coming.

I want to continue travelling and showing my children the endless possibilities this world has in store.

Anything else you’d like to add?

II am blessed to have a circle of phenomenal men around me which most people don’t. Men who often don’t make a final decision before actually seeking my point of view.

Problem solving on the job
Problem solving on the job

For that, I thank you because I don’t have to jump hoops anymore. That is huge and equally I have a circle of phenomenal women who not only support me at work but support each other’s children and families.

Thanks Joy xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 24 – Therese

Women's Day 2019 - Therese Rose

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with another one of my musical female friends like Lauren and Claire, but I met her in Nashville on my first trip to Tennessee a few years ago. Meet one of the best vocalists I know, Therese…

My weight should not mentally effect me as much as it does… but I was born into a society where women were supposed to look and dress and act a certain way.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Therese Rose

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Therese Rose

Current location: Detroit, Michigan, USA

Born in: just outside of Detroit, Michigan, USA

Therese Rose - 38 - Singer / Music Teacher / DJ
Therese Rose – 38 – Singer / Music Teacher / DJ

Hiya Therese, what makes you a woman?

Well, the fact that I have 2 X chromosomes!

But seriously, what makes a woman special for instance is her tenacity, her strength to endure, her selflessness when taking care of others, her sweet and nurturing nature, her ferocity to protect her loved ones at all costs, her intuitive ability to multitask. I believe I have these qualities in my own way.

Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?

Naturally, I would have to say one of the women I respect most would be my mother. She raised five kids all on her own making minimum wage.

If something broke at home, she’d figure out how to fix it herself. Electrical, tiling, grouting, painting, light carpentry… she’d fix it. She would fix it because she didn’t have anyone else who could help and definitely didn’t have the money to hire someone.

Therese's mother
Therese’s mother

Instead of buying new dresses for my sisters and I when we were little, she would get some fabric and sew them herself.

This is the image of women I grew up with; strong, independent, and self-sufficient.

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

I believe the types of jobs I do are pretty genre-neutral.

I sing, teach music, work at a music union and DJ. Those are all jobs that nobody has an issue seeing a strong, assertive woman performing. I know that is not always the case with all jobs or in all places, and I empathize with the women that have to deal with unequal pay, job discrimination and even harassment in the workplace.

Unfortunately, I don’t know one woman who has never been harassed at some point in her life, either publicly or privately. For others, it happens everyday.

Society has been patriarchal for a long time… but it wasn’t always like that. It is not natural for humans. I believe it may stem from insecurities of males trying to compare themselves to the women that made them. Women create life. Then they raise, nurture, love and take care of these lives forever. That’s a tough act to follow for some men who maybe aren’t as emotionally-invested.

On the job, making some funky music
On the job, making some funky music

So, I don’t really know what it would be like as a man since I’ve always had to deal with the consequences of being a woman in today’s society. I used to dress down and wear an over-sized camouflaged coat, just to go to a store in Detroit hoping that would draw less attention and less catcalling.

I think that’s partly why I still wear a hat and glasses almost everyday; to be somewhat incognito. I can tell you that I would not make women feel like some men have made me feel. I would hope to have the consciousness to treat everyone as equals and not fall into the status quo of societal male behavior.

However, I am very glad to see that people are finally waking up to this injustice and doing something about it now.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

I will be very honest and say what I struggle most with in my life is my weight and size. As an outsider, it seems silly to worry and get depressed over something like this. I have all my limbs, and I am generally a healthy human being. My weight should not mentally effect me as much as it does… but I was born into a society where women were supposed to look, dress and act a certain way.

It is so ingrained in my brain, that even after it became normal to see a plus-sized model, I still cannot fully see myself in the same beautiful light.

A very young Therese
A very young Therese

My mom, as strong and independent as she was, even kept a magnet on the fridge my entire childhood that read, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. I don’t think she was aware of the lasting effects that can have on a young girl. I’m learning to love myself now, after almost 40 years on this planet, but it is a difficult task, seeing as these ideals have been set in my subconscious from such a young age and on.

I can look at another full figured woman and see her beauty. I’ve even had thousands of people in my life tell me that I’m beautiful… but until I can let go of these ingrained concepts of what a perfect woman should look like, I will continue to struggle with this and will not be completely happy and in love with every part of myself.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

I enjoy singing and teaching above all else. If I am not doing these two things, I feel a part of me is missing. I love singing because it is my emotional outlet. I get to unload all of my emotions and feelings into my song and rejuvenate my spirit. I’m also glad that this is something I can do to not only help myself feel better but can also enrich other lives as well.

Therese hanging with her pupils
Therese hanging with her pupils

I love teaching because I love spending time with children. I love being around their pure and unadulterated spirits. I love seeing the spark in their eyes every time they discover new talents and skills. I love helping children achieve their dreams while building strong life values and lasting confidence. This is what fuels me.

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

Love yourself! Love all your “imperfections”. Love the good and the bad. And don’t let anyone ever make you feel less than. You are all beautiful with your own charms and have the ability to do anything you want on this earth. Be nice to yourself and others, and be a support and role model for other women in your community.

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

Love yourself, too! Love yourself enough to not fall into the misogynistic and sexist actions that too many men still do out there. Treat everyone as equals and with the same respect you would give your own mother, grandmother or child.

Say what!! With the crew.
Say what!! With the crew.

Try to imagine things from a women’s point of view and be sympathetic to our needs and emotions. And if you do find yourself thinking a particularly sexist or demeaning thing, correct your perspective immediately and try not to make the same mistake again. We can all grow and change. Let’s change for the better.

What is your dream?

On a superficial level, my dream is to make enough money doing what I love that I can afford everything I need and still have some left over in the bank. If I ever had an abundance of money, I’m sure I would donate to others in need, for I truly believe we are all equal and deserve the same opportunities.

Therese in one of her first music groups
Therese in one of her first music groups

On a deeper level, I dream for happiness. I dream of getting back to a clean and healthy planet the way that Mother Nature intended. I dream that someday, we will all live in harmony again with each other and our earth.

I dream to end jealousy, insecurity, greed, waste, superiority, sexism, racism, and anything else that doesn’t align with a pure and happy soul.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to add that men can be pretty amazing, too, just like my dear friend producing these articles. Ryan is a bright and beautiful soul, and I often find myself seeking his advice and unconditional support. I believe we can truly change this world for the better because of people like Ryan. I love you, buddy, and thank you for this opportunity and acknowledgement!

Follow Therese on facebook here

Thanks Therese xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 23 – Claire

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with another one of my musical female friends like Lauren. We also met at Musicamp when we were younger. Meet musician mom, Claire…

Men and women think differently, and can have different expectations. Assumptions are dangerous, so take the time to explain and to listen.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Claire Bradnum

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Claire Bradnum

Current location: Harare, Zimbabwe

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Claire Bradnum - 33 - Music Teacher
Claire Bradnum – 33 – Music Teacher

Hiya Claire, what makes you a woman?

Well, I have two X chromosomes. And I have gone through puberty, and become an adult.

Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?

Clare Griffiths – A truly amazing, unsung hero, who works behind the scenes to help so many people in so many ways. Clare has an incredible ability to feel the pain she sees and to heal it where she can. She is hugely creative, hugely talented, and Christ shines through her.

Abby Johnson – She is able to tell the truth when people don’t want to hear the truth. She has gone through so much and met with such resistance to her message but it doesn’t stop her.

Kechi Okwuchi – I can’t even begin to think what that woman has been through, but she shares her gifts with the world. Her music, her heart, her inner fighter and survivor, and ability and willingness to reach out and touch people.

Saint Hildegaard – I wish I could have been a fly on the wall 800 years ago when this incredible woman was putting together her recipes. She didn’t take nonsense from anyone, and knew she had something beneficial to give the world.

My family is full of strong and courageous women that I respect and admire, who give/gave selflessly, tirelessly and passionately. A few worth mentioning would be:

Newborn
Newborn

My sisters – Pillars of strength, thoroughly capable, caring women, fighting their own battles but always looking out for others. Intuitive, intelligent, strong.

Granny Eileen – She was a fascinating woman, who told it like it is. She bore huge pain, but was still a passionate and compassionate person. I wish I could have gotten to have a few conversations with her as an adult.

Aunty Stella – She is one of the bravest women I know whose heart burns for her country. She has been through so much. She has such a generous and selfless spirit.

And last but not least, my beautiful mom – Graceful, gracious, determined, dedicated, gentle. Passionate, supportive, humble, appreciative. Careful, considerate, generous, long-suffering, committed, joyful, observant. Protective, intelligent. Close to God. Disciplined. Invaluable.

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

It’s hard to say. I probably would have pursued things differently, I would have received different education, as I attended an all girls school, and I probably would have had different opportunities open to me, so I’m sure I would be living a very different life.

Catching up with Claire in Harare Zimbabwe
Catching up with Claire in Harare Zimbabwe

Personally, though, I don’t think being a woman has worked against me in my career, unless it was too subtle to notice and I wasn’t aware. I have not felt discriminated against.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

With myself – I struggle with never living up to my own expectations. I am my biggest critic, and never quite measure up to what I know I am capable of.

Claire Bradnum
Claire Bradnum

With others, I struggle to come to terms with the fact that the world’s purse strings are controlled by people, all over the world, who care so little about the planet, and their fellow human compatriots of this world. I struggle with selfishness.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Creativity and the opportunities I have to be creative. Spending time with people who love and appreciate me, and who I love and appreciate. Especially my children.

Claire and her kids
Claire and her kids

Composing. Playing my instruments, probably the recorder the most, and piano. Helping my students achieve something that started off challenging.

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

Trust your intuition, Exercise it. The more you use it, the stronger it will get. You can rely on it.

Keep asking yourself, is this really important? Will it matter in 5 years time? 10 years?

Prioritise your life.

Jim Rohn says, in the end you must choose one of two pains: the pain of discipline, or the pain of regret.

 Claire and the Harare International School parent choir
Claire and the Harare International School parent choir

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

Communication is key. Men and women think differently, and can have different expectations. Assumptions are dangerous, so take the time to explain and to listen.

What is your dream?

To bring Zimbabweans together through music. To provide music education and music opportunities to as many Zimbabweans as I can.

A music centre, a series of camps for musicians – including piano camps – which involves owning enough pianos.

Claire hanging out with some students
Claire hanging out with some students

Recorder Orchestra. Workshops. School festivals. I would love to see the choir and orchestra I began to bring the community of Harare together, really and truly take off.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I am very glad that women are being appreciated and acknowledged, supported and protected more, and I also realise that in some societies we still have further to go, but I would like to say still we must be careful not to attempt to replace the role of the man with the woman.

I don’t wish to see women valued at the expense of men, just as I do not wish to see men valued at the expense of women.

Women cannot fill the role of men. Only men can do that. Men cannot fill the role of women. Only women can do that. We must not seek to be the same, because we are not.

Claire in action accompanying school choirs
Claire in action accompanying school choirs

Personally I am not interested in women trying to do everything men can do. I am interested in women being given the chance, the space, the opportunity, the support, funding, and encouragement, to do and be everything that women can do and be.

Women are important. But so are men. Our differences must be acknowledged and celebrated.

Thanks Claire xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 22 – Lauren

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with one of my earliest female friends. We met at my first Musicamp when I was fifteen and she was thirteen. You see, I went to an all-boys school, so music was a crucial doorway to my meeting girls growing up. We hit it off on day one and what a gem she has grown into. Meet my lovely friend, Lauren…

It is okay to have dark periods and to accept help from people – these times help you to set the path for brighter things.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Lauren Scott-Turner

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Lauren Scott-Turner

Current location: Bedfordshire, England

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Lauren Scott-Turner - 35 - Freelance Musician and Tutor
Lauren Scott-Turner – 35 – Freelance Musician and Tutor

Hiya Lauren, what makes you a woman?

My thoughts, my emotions and my ability to connect with people on an emotional level.

Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?

Tara, my wife. She is an extremely caring and nurturing person. She is a principal engineer for a large railway company in the U.K. and she works so hard in a predominately male environment.

I am so proud of her and respect her for all the hurdles she has had to overcome to get to where she is now.

Lauren and her wife Tara
Lauren and her wife Tara

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

I think it would be as challenging, because men have been expected to be “strong” and not be “emotional” and I think a lot of men have huge mental health issues and as much trouble with their confidence – it is just less apparent.

I think if I was still living in the U.A.E, life would be easier as a man, as I didn’t feel women had an equal voice. Men would rather deal with men in business and the women’s place was in the home and to be seen and not heard. I think that it is changing there, slowly.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

Confidence in myself and low self esteem.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Music and travel, because they both enable me to meet new and different people. Both music and travel remind me to be fully in the moment.
I really enjoy the simple things too, like a cup of tea and relaxing with my wife and cats!

Lauren and I with friends in Zimbabwe when we were younger
Lauren and I with friends in Zimbabwe when we were younger

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

Be true to yourself. Don’t change for people but also be respectful of people – use your emotional intelligence to make wise decisions and to connect with people.

Take time to talk to each other – face to face not through a screen.

Lauren and Tara at one of my shows in Copenhagen Denmark
Lauren and Tara at one of my shows in Copenhagen Denmark

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

We should treat each other as equals – be mindful and compassionate – but know that it is okay to not be okay.

What is your dream?

To be happy, to be present, to experience as much of this world as I can and live it to the absolute max!

Lauren with her brother and their parents
Lauren with her brother and their parents

Anything else you’d like to add?

I have never ‘chosen’ the easy road.
I have never really followed society’s norm.

I face challenges every day because I don’t subscribe to what society expects but I am learning to be more open and communicative about it so that I can help break down barriers and also break down whatever that ‘society norm’ is.

I trust my instincts and I choose my line of work carefully. I don’t like to work in environments where I am not respected or appreciated.

It is okay to have dark periods and accept help from people – these times help you to set the path for brighter things.

Tara and Lauren
Tara and Lauren

Thanks Lauren xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 21 – Ameera

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with another power house in our community. My cousin, Saranna’s sister Ameera aka “MiMi”…

Every great dream begins with a dreamer! I love being African and calling Africa home

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Ameera Ameer

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Ameera “MiMi” Ameer

Current location: Harare, Zimbabwe

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Ameera "MiMi" Ameer - 27 - Award-Wining Lifestyle Blogger
Ameera “MiMi” Ameer – 27 – Award-Wining Lifestyle Blogger

Hiya MiMi, what makes you a woman?

Aside from my very female physical traits, I would say being a multi-tasker, balancing life while still achieving careerwise and being a key player in the home.

Most women these days have this interesting balance of having active roles in the home and family but still achieving in their career.

Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?

My grandmother – what an amazing woman.

When I think of her life and what she meant to my family and to me, it truly reflects a woman with great values who we respected dearly in my family and community.

She was born in a time where opportunities were limited (in what was then Rhodesia) for a mixed-race woman born to a Shona mother and Indian Father. My grandmother provided for her kids and many more children after her husband passed away. She was an amazing woman and mother, not to just her five children, but to so many other children. She was a provider, a problem solver and a leader.

With her minimal education in a time where women had little opportunity, she held great purpose with several responsibilities. I think her story, like many African women, is one of great purpose and strength.

Ameera with her gran
Ameera standing next to her gran in the middle with her step-mom

My grandmother brought me up and was actively involved in my upbringing at very key stages of my life. She helped shape my values and many skills, especially around running a home and being an honest and kind person. I was blessed to have her and miss her every day.

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

Well, I think men have a privilege over women in my communities and societies. They often have higher paying jobs and access to more opportunities than women. I think being a man comes with less hurdles in all aspects from business opportunities to the family. Men get away with not cooking, doing dishes and just day-to-day running of the household (While this may be changing in some parts of the world, not so much in other parts).

Women do it all and at times in HEELS! While sometimes men do have pressure to be providers, there is also more room for them to actually have the opportunities to be providers. Men have less standards to be held accountable to – there are different rules for different genders.

Ameera Ameer
Ameera Ameer

For example if a woman is confident and refuses to be treated a certain way, she is labeled as bossy or difficult, but if a man is to do the same, he is labeled as assertive and strong.

It is definitely complex regarding gender and gender roles. Ultimately, I feel society has more benefits for males and less obstacles for them, the girl child faces more hurdles, especially in the African context.

Women have to be twice as good and fight more battles to succeed both in the boardroom and with family. These are facts!

What do you struggle with the most in life?

Adulting!

At times, being an adult is a grand task – from personal goals and achievements. Young Adults have this transition into the real demands of growing up and providing for yourself and family.

In the Zimbabwean context, the economic challenges make it harder to plan and achieve personal career goals.

How does one take a mortgage?
By what age should you have your first home?
Accessing good healthcare
Taking care of aging parents

These are some of the challenges young Zimbabwean adults face.
A millennial adult in Zimbabwe has even more added pressure to make a plan in a not-so-normal economy.

Ameera Ameer
Ameera Ameer

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Family, friends and travel!

At the end of the day, I am so lucky to have a beautiful family.

Celebrating Eid, birthdays and supporting each other makes it all worth it. Sure we may not always agree with each other but we surely do love each other.

Saranna with her sister Mimi
Mimi with her sister Saranna

Friends are the family we chose so they are extra special. Traveling for me is a favourite hobby. Exploring beautiful locations and escaping day-to-day life.

To travel is to truly live and there are so many stunning and exciting destinations.

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

Your dreams are valid. You are strong. You can do it too. We are amazing. Love yourself. Never compromise. Be Bold.

MiMi in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe
MiMi in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

Be fair. Be honest. Be gentle. Make an effort. Spoil her. Love her. It’s okay to show emotion. Make each day better and be better.

What is your dream?

To expand my empire, grow my blog and look into entrepreneurship.

From plus-size clothing, lifestyle consulting to tourism, interior design, media and digital marketing. I hope to make my mark and have an impact in the respective industries in Africa.

MiMi in Dar es Salaam
MiMi in Dar es Salaam

I love being African and calling Africa home. Zimbabwe is my home and I have many dreams of it excelling and becoming an African success story. I hope that at the end of the day we have good leadership and governance with equal opportunity for all genders and races.

As for my family, I hope that we continue to nurture and provide for one another. I especially hope to surpass my father’s expectations and to live honestly by him as he is a very special man in my life – present fathers like him are to be celebrated.

More travel is a must and a favourite.

Finally, I am a Muslim and hope to explore my spirituality and purpose in life. This path ahead, I hope will lead me closer to Allah and to be a better person. While I am not typically religious, I am very spiritually aware of Allah’s presence. Life on this earth is only part of one’s journey with the All Mighty, The Most Merciful and Powerful. In the meantime, I will enjoy the adventure along the way!

Check out MiMi’s award-winning blog here

Anything else you’d like to add?

Every great dream begins with a dreamer!

Thanks MiMi xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 20 – Saranna

Saranna Ameer

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with my cousin who is such a soft-spoken yet magnificent force to behold. Meet MiMi’s sister Saranna…

Choosing to be a career woman does not make you less of a woman – own it. Do not fit into a glass slipper but instead, shatter glass ceilings.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Dr. Saranna Ameer

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Dr. Saranna Ameer

Current location: Harare, Zimbabwe

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Saranna Ameer - 34 - Specialist Physician
Saranna Ameer – 34 – Specialist Physician

Hiya Saranna, what makes you a woman?

The first thing as a practicing Muslim, would be my relationship to my creator. He has defined a role for me in relation to him and in fulfilling those roles I am a woman.

Secondly I feel I am a woman in the words of the Maya Angelou poem Phenomenal Woman…

It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.

Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?

My grandmother Amina Ameer. She was the most amazing woman I know and I am who I am because of her influence. She cared for everyone and all who knew her loved her. She had patience always and nothing ever got her down. She had a smile and always gave the best advice. She was constantly learning and growing as a person.

And by extension, my sister Ameera “Mimi” Ameer who shows a lot of my grandmother while being a forever fighter in what she believes to be right and true, as well as always being authentic. I love you Ameera, keep on being you.

Saranna with her sister Mimi
Saranna with her sister Mimi

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

I think my life would be a lot less full. I work in a very male-oriented environment and most of the men are very focused and driven but not in any other roles. They have people to pick up the slack, whereas no matter how accomplished you are as a woman, you are still expected to fulfill other so-called duties, which help make life interesting and varied.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

The ‘isms’ so sexism and racism – being judged on what you are perceived and versus who you are. I am an intersection (woman of color, Muslim), in so many ways, it’s easy to be labeled as an outsider and classified in stereotypical boxes. I love the challenge of breaking those and being an individual.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

The people I have been blessed with in my life. I am surrounded by amazing humans who challenge me, grow me, and inspire me daily. I enjoy the work I do, the life I lead and the deep connections I have.

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

You are perfect as you are. You do not have to look a certain way or be a certain way. Who you are authentically is perfect. A housewife, a mother is one of the most important jobs – do not make it a “I am just” job but a queen of the house.

Saranna with friends
Saranna with friends

Similarly, choosing to be a career woman does not make you less of a woman – own it. Do not fit into a glass slipper but instead, shatter glass ceilings.

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

Acknowledge the privileges you have been given by the nature of your gender and if there is a woman you can help reach her dreams, do so. She is someone’s daughter, mother and or sister – treat her with the respect you would treat those.

What is your dream?

To leave the world a better place for being in it by excelling in all I take up.

Saranna in action at a scientific conference
Saranna in action at a scientific conference

Thanks Saranna xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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