So one of the most exciting things happened to me today! Deddeh Howard followed me back on instagram ! If you don’t know who Deddeh Howard is, she is a Liberian model, based in Los Angeles and she has challenged the beauty and modelling industry to redefine how they define beauty and to create more inclusiveness in those industries, after going to countless modelling agencies and being turned away because “they already had a black girl” Howard started posting photo shoots that she had done replicating ad campaigns that Caucasian women had done, in an effort to change people’s perception of people of colour. In a project she named #blackmirror
We all know how promoting diversity and promoting equity is not the same thing. That said, I’m so so glad that #blackmirror has challenged major fashion labels to have more people of colour in their campaigns. A splash of colour is not enough.
So I would like to salute other public figures who have inspired me, challenged me and helped me to push past my own insecurities.
Kerry Washington is an American actress well known for her roles in huge Hollywood films like The Last King of Scotland, Ray and more recently, her role in Scandal as Olivia Pope a crisis manager who runs her own crisis management firm in Washington D.C. What inspires me about Kerry Washington isn’t just the amazing way she portrays characters on screen, but rather her passion for education and activism. Washington graduated from George Washington University 1988 Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in Anthropology and Sociology. What inspired me most was her most was her GW Commencement Speech please do watch it her words are gold.
Devi Sankaree Govender is an award winning investigative journalist and since I was a little girl I always watched her interview everyone from corrupt politicians to executive members in large corporations on the South African show, Carte Blanche. Now I must emphasize, that as a girl growing up in Zimbabwe, I never noticed there was censorship of the press in Zimbabwe until I saw Devi on TV questioning political/public figures, and she did it in a way that said ‘I want answers, and I want them NOW!’ she was my first encounter with unapologetic journalism, the kind that wanted to expose the truth for what it is. She is so inspiring to me because she is relentless in her pursuit for the truth, think Christiane Amanpour with double the grit ! The motto on Carte Blanche is ‘You have the right to see it all’ and her and her fellow journalists definitely make sure of it. I salute you ! Thank you.
Ashley Graham is an American supermodel and is most known for being a lingerie model for the plus sized clothing store Lane Bryant and has been on the covers of major magazines like Vouge, Maxim and Harpers Bazaar !
She is also the first plus sized model to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Her influence has been felt all around the world, and as I was really chubby when I was young it took me so long to love my body, even after I lost a bit of weight, watching Ashley Graham’s journey has definitely encouraged me to buy a bikini or those really cute shorts and just love myself ! Thank you girl ! And would you just look at these pics !
Connie Ferguson is a South African actress, producer and model. She starred as the character Karabo Moroka on the South African soap Generations: The Legacy . I watched her on this show since I was a little girl and at the time I was a huge fan of her, based solely on the glitz and glam surrounding celebrities, but now that I’m older I know that Television and Media is about a lot more than that. It’s about telling stories that bring people together and forcing them to relate to the characters on the screen. I watched that show with my family every evening, it was our way of unwinding and having family time. Connie now has a production company that she started with her husband called Ferguson Films. She is still creating her own shows and starring in them from Rockville to another soapie she produces and stars in called, The Queen; Connie is always pushing boundaries while keeping Africa entertained and helping us all create memories in our own homes. Thank you Connie !