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 19 – Cyndi

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 Zimbabwean lady who’ve I’ve connected with through my social media and my music. Meet Cyndi…

Hold each other up. Be kind to everyone you meet. We all have our battles to fight.

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

Cyndi Barker

Current location: Devon, England

Born in: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Cyndi Barker - 54 - Senior Support Worker
Cyndi Barker – 54 – Senior Support Worker

Hiya Cyndi, what makes you a woman?

My soft nature.

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

Tina Turner.

She’s been through some tough times and still stands tall.

Cyndi and a friend
Cyndi and a friend

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

Men have more opportunities in business than we do.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

Loneliness.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Writing poetry.

I write nostalgic poetry about the homeland.

Cyndi Barker
Cyndi Barker

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

Keep pushing! You’re amazing. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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

Treasure your ladies. Treat them well.

If you don’t, someone else will.

"Girls just wanna have fun"
“Girls just wanna have fun”

What is your dream?

To find someone with a good heart.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Hold each other up.

Be kind to everyone you meet.

We all have our battles to fight.

Thanks Cyndi 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 17 – Tatenda

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 an amazing lady who is also passionate about telling the stories of those untold. Meet Tatenda…

Less ego and more compassion goes a long way in terms of connecting and relating to others.

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 - Tatenda Kanengoni

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

Tatenda Kanengoni

Current location: Harare, Zimbabwe

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Tatenda Kanengoni - 34 - Visual Storyteller
Tatenda Kanengoni – 34 – Visual Storyteller

Hi Tatenda, what makes you a woman?

What makes me a woman is how I embrace femininity and celebrate everything that comes with being a woman. My ability to nurture, chase my dreams and help shape society so graciously makes me a proud woman.

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

There are loads of women I respect for different reasons but if I have to pick one, it would be my mother for her amazing work ethic and dedication to family.

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

If I was a man I would imagine myself being more selfish and self centered. I feel men put themselves first in most instances and women almost don’t have that luxury- although that is a healthy balance we have to establish for ourselves.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

I struggle with putting myself first. It’s been a journey and I’m way ahead now in terms of taking care of myself first.

Tatenda with her friend Sherry in China
Tatenda with her friend Sherry in China

What do you enjoy the most in life?

I enjoy waking up every day and being intentional about pursuing my dreams with the people I love most cheering me on from the sidelines and doing the same for them. Priceless.

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

I would like to tell all women out there that they are special. (I feel like women always need this reminder) That they should celebrate themselves every day and not seek validation from anyone but themselves.

In short, self-love is the plug. Also to establish healthy boundaries and balance in life.

Tatenda with her friend Tsungai in Cape Town
Tatenda with her friend Tsungai in Cape Town

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

I would like to tell all men out there that they should love themselves and know that although they are raised to ignore their own emotions – to not appear ‘weak’ – their feelings do matter. Less ego and more compassion goes a long way in terms of connecting and relating to others.

What is your dream?

My dream is to continue to develop my storytelling abilities and begin to touch lives beyond my country – to travel the African continent to document more untold, inspirational stories and to help create a more authentic narrative for ourselves as Africans.

Read about Adjoa Armah and many other interesting personalities on Tatenda's website
Read about Adjoa Armah and many other interesting personalities on Tatenda’s website

Visit Tatenda’s story-packed website called Crooked Lanes

Anything else you’d like to add?

Be unapologetic about traveling your unique life journey. Future generations depend on it.

Thanks Tatenda 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 15 – Meredith

Graduation Day

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 good longtime friend, Meredith…

Most importantly, you can control the story you tell yourself about yourself, what you are capable of, and the possibilities that are open to you as a result.

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 - Meredith

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

Meredith Moyo

Current location: Kampala, Uganda

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Meredith - 37 - Organization Development Consultant
Meredith – 37 – Organization Development Consultant

So Meredith, what makes you a woman?

From a purely naturalistic perspective, my biology makes me a woman and I think that it defines my interactions with the world.  But as YHWH’s child I also believe that the way I’m created spiritually also makes me a woman and that defines my interactions with Him and with other human beings.

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

I’m privileged to have had many strong but compassionate women as role models throughout my lifetime but above them all my mother stands out as the one I respect the most.  I admire her because of her adventurous spirit, her loyalty, her kindness and generosity, and her incredible humility.

She suffered incredible personal loss but instead of being bitter and withdrawn, she gave compassion back to the world around her; she was very accomplished in this regard, but if you met her you would  never know how much she did because she was so humble.

Making new friends!
Making new friends!

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

If I were a man, I think my career would still be my greatest focus.  One of my joys as a woman has been giving birth to, and raising, my two children.

From a practical perspective, though, it required that I slow down my career progression to give them more focused attention.  I have no regrets in this regard but I think that if I were a man my professional path would be very different.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

I struggle with maintaining a unified identity in which I choose how I see myself and that choice reflects a whole and complete person.  It’s a struggle because the messages I get from society all fragment my identity and try to put me in a box.

I’m often identified first as my husband’s wife, or my children’s mother.  I have to work hard to maintain my own identity as an individual independently of these roles and to share that more complete self with people I encounter.

Graduation Day

There was a “me” BEFORE the family, and that “me” still exists and still needs to be nurtured in addition to the parts of me that are more socially visible right now.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Paradoxically (in light of the struggle I describe above), caring for my family has become my greatest joy.  It certainly is hard work, but it’s fulfilling in a way that I truly didn’t expect, and that, I find delights me in new ways every day.

Walking through life with these delightful people has given me new perspective and a wider appreciation for all the good there still is in the world.

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

You are ultimately responsible for the path you choose in life.  You can’t always control what the world throws at you, but you can control how you respond.

Most importantly, you can control the story you tell yourself about yourself, what you are capable of, and the possibilities that are open to you as a result.

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

I would like to ask men to be conscious about being kind.  Many men already are and I’m grateful to them…

Kindness goes a long way in making the world a nicer place to be for all of us.  When men are intentional in directing that kindness, it has a huge impact.

Good times! Meredith and me in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

What is your dream?

I’m living it.  What I’ve always longed for, is to be surrounded by people I love, to be fulfilled by what I do each day, and to be able to sleep peacefully at night.

Anything else you’d like to add?

The 21st century increasingly demands that we have a global perspective on all aspects of life.  As women, its especially important to be able to recognize our shared realities in spite of the vast differences in experience that we may have due to where and how we live.  I think that seeing as much of the world firsthand as we can, is really helpful in building empathy which is really what International Women’s Day is all about.

Hang time

Thanks Meredith xo

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 10 – Vanina

Women's Day 2019 - Vanina Lion

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 talented woman I who only met last year and she is now working for my new record label. Meet singer-songwriter Vanina…

One of my dreams is that people could respect each other, not imposing their views, wishes and mandates on everyone.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above.

Women's Day 2019 - Vanina Lion

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

Vanina Lion

Current location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Born in: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Vanina Lion - 39 - Singer-Songwriter
Vanina Lion – 39 – Singer-Songwriter

Hiya Vanina, what makes you a woman?

Whatever makes me a human, basically.

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

I respect everybody, male, female and everything in between. So for me it is more a matter of admiration. There are so many women who were brave enough to go through life as an equal to their male peers, who got an education, worked and raised a family, more than a century ago. I deeply admire them.

I also realized that I admire tons of female artists, with enough guts to go for it and live their dreams. Balancing all of their desires, taking risks and fulfilling obligations, all at the same time.

Vanina in action on stage
Vanina in action on stage

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

I think that men, just like women, are also still prone to living up to expectations. So maybe my life would be pretty much the same, but with other types of pressures. Like “success” measured in income, for example.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

I struggle to find a balance between personal and professional life. I know that balance is almost a Utopian idea, or that when it happens, it doesn’t last long. But still, I keep looking for it.

Vanina in the recording studio
Vanina in the recording studio

What do you enjoy the most in life?

I really enjoy making music and being together with my family. And sleeping in on weekends 🙂

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

I’d say the same that I’d say to anybody… Don’t think gender, think human.

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

I’d say the same that I’d say to anybody… Don’t think gender, think human.

What is your dream?

One of my dreams is that people could respect each other, not imposing their views, wishes and mandates on everyone. I dream that people took their time to get to know themselves, and to be free and courageous to go get what they want.

Vanina in action
Vanina in action

Check out Vanina’s website here

Thanks Vanina xo

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 1 – Mom

Sultana Koriya

Today is International Women’s Day, the 8th of March 2019. To celebrate that, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to get 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.

For now, what better a place to start than with my mother. I’m her first born and she’s had quite the journey in life, from being born into a racially oppressive culture, never mind the gender bias. As people often say when they meet me on my touring and travels…

Your mom must be an incredible woman to have raised someone like you!

Interviews coming all month starting from today.

Women's Day 2019

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

Sultana Koriya

In Harare, Zimbabwe

Born in Salisbury, Rhodesia (which became Harare, Zimbabwe in 1980)

Sultana Koriya - 58 - Receptionist
Sultana Koriya – 58 – Receptionist

So Mom, what makes you a woman?

The fact that I can withstand storms in my life and tackle any situation by facing the giants in my life head-on. I am a God-fearing woman.

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

My mom, because she raised us with a very strong foundation, and as a single mom today, I am where I am because of my mother. I have achieved a very big goal in my life… today I can proudly say that at 21, I bought a house and was a landlord at 21.

That was a big achievement considering our background of growing up on donations and social welfare as six children to a single mom.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

I struggle with people in companies who treat their workers badly and I think that is just not acceptable.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

I’ve always enjoyed working with people. To me, each day that I wake up is a special day. No matter where I am, whether walking or sitting at my desk at work, I like to make a difference in someone’s life you know, people are going through so many challenges.

A look, a touch, a smile, a word. Sometimes you can just say something to somebody that will impact them in a way that they’ll always remember who you are. That to me is achieving a result, If someone can come back to me and say “You know Mrs Koriya, remember that day when I came, you spoke to me, I was going through some challenges…”

I feel it costs you nothing just to be nice to somebody. Even sometimes walking out of a supermarket, you have the security guard by the gate. Bless him, even if it’s with a dollar. Buy him a coke; do something. Not that you have millions of dollars but I feel just have a giving heart and love unconditionally. To me each day, I can go home and put my head on my pillow and be grateful to have touched a life.

Taking Mom along to my radio interview at ZiFM Radio Zimbabwe
Taking Mom along to my radio interview at ZiFM Radio Zimbabwe

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

Never give up in life no matter how many times you fall. Stand up and move on because God has a plan for you in everything that you do. What’s happening in your life is just a passing phase. You realise that in your day-to-day life, you face these challenges and they are there to lift you up to become stronger and to become who you really can be.  In many cases it’s something that we don’t understand. You pray and expect a microwave oven reply. It’s not like that. The response is not so quick. Even though you could pray for one thing, God could answer it in another way which benefits you. I find that has kept me strong and kept me going.

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

I’d urge them to be a father to their children and a loving husband to their wives. To cherish every moment with them. These moments won’t come back. A lot of men can make a child but may not actually be a father to the child. That’s where the difference is. You find that a lot of children grow up in homes where these qualities are not brought up as a parent or as a father, where it’s so difficult to say ‘I love you’ to your children or even to your wife.

These are a lot of the issues that keep coming up and as you grow up in such an environment, your own children then become that way. When they grow up they may also not know how to express love, even to friends or just to people around them. People grow up with this anger in them, yet if this was corrected from the word go, it could have a big impact on your children’s lives. That constant communication, talking to them, doing stuff together is very important as well. These children will grow up with very strong qualities in their lives and when they meet somebody else, all these qualities are already there for them.

What is your dream Momsy?

I like cooking and I make these pickles. I have a dream that one day I’ll have my own jars selling on all the shelves in these large supermarkets and chain stores.  They will have my own beautiful label on them and it will be a billion dollar business! No matter how old I’ll be. In my sixties or whatever it will be, but my dream is one day I’ll be selling my already popular pickles and chilies beyond the inner community.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Struggles are part of success. Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come.
Stay focused.
Stay humble.
Stay blessed.

Thanks Mom xo

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